Thursday, 4 July 2013

An anonymous letter ...

Left on my desk ... don't know who it is from but it is an encouraging story.

Dear Sean

Thank you for your message on Sunday on Generosity and Giving. I was greatly challenged and encouraged by the principle for life that you so wisely and sensitively explored with us. I wanted to write to you to encourage you on the way your words supported what God is doing in my life at the moment.

I have been particularly challenged by the topic of financial over the last few months after hearing a sermon online preached at Woking’s New Frontiers Church ‘The Coign’ during a series called Money, Sex and Power Well worth a listen “Sermon 4: Investing in Eternity”

The preach was on the topic of spirit filled giving and, as the speaker spoke on tithing and giving, he shared similar challenges of exceeding current giving standards that you spoke on when you mentioned the different steps last Sunday.

God spoke to me clearly after hearing the online sermon a month back and asked me to be radical and crazy- To give our months earning straight out and keep none of it. God has blessed us greatly in the past and after running the numbers I recognised that this act of faith would not be a foolish thing to do.

I was excited to try it and shared the idea with my wife who was sensitively reluctant. As we chatted, we remembered God’s faithfulness to us and how he has challenged and blessed us in the past. I have felt a particular call at the moment to pursue greater steps of faithfulness after hearing God speaking to me on several occasions for me to test my faith.

The end of the month came and we watched as the money came into our account as usual. It took me almost 3 weeks to muster up the courage to go online and pass both of our incomes for the month (pre tax) to RFC (our usual tithe to the church and the rest to the vision fund).  I can tell you honestly that we have never been so financially challenged as we were that day. The amount was equivalent to 6 months worth of what we put into savings.

God is clearly still at work in us on this issue and we were greatly blessed by your message to continue to pursue sacrificial giving. I must be honest when I share with you that I had to stop myself from switching off as you started speaking on Sunday, as my false pride told me I didn’t need to hear it. However I knew that God was always be speaking new and fresh and that you would give me an honest and inspired perspective. Your words, about having a genuine and joyful heart when giving to God, were inspiring and made for a great life-group discussion this week. My wife and I have continued to chat this week about God's provision in our lives and recognise his sovereignty in our giving.

I hope you can be encouraged by these words and that it may strengthen and encourage your ministry. Feel free to share with others, that they may be encouraged too.

I wanted to finish with a few wise thoughts I have collected over the last few months on this topic.
Firstly, God owns everything; it is an insult to him not to receive the gifts he gives and an insult when we try to give back to him what is already his as if it were our own!
Secondly, God does not need our money; Simple but often forgotten in church giving. 
Finally, God blesses and prospers us not to increase our standard of living but our standard of giving. He gives us stuff in order to test our response.
Please pause and re-read these. I’m sure they are not new to you but it is great to reflect on these truths.

Feel free to share this with anyone you think would find it useful, inspirational or challenging.

Yours in Him,

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