By Pastor Jerry Donovan
About ten years ago I read a book titled The Purpose Driven Life. The author is the Baptist preacher for Saddleback Church in California, Rick Warren. The material in his book opened my eyes and mind in order to change the direction of my life. As the years passed I stayed in touch with him and consider him a role model that anyone can use as an example for their own lives and ministry. Just this week he sent me the following food for thought:
“What God gives to me he wants to give through me.
God is looking for people that he can bless the world with. He looks around and asks, “Will you be a cup, or will you be a straw?” If you’re a cup, you just get filled up, and that’s it. But if you’ll say, “God, I’ll be a straw, and you can channel your blessing through me to other people,” then that’s the kind of person God wants to bless.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, “God, who supplies seed for the sower and bread to eat, will also supply you with all the seed you need and will make it grow and produce a rich harvest from your generosity. He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times” (TEV).
This promise is built on your willingness to share what he supplies to you. Are you willing to pass on God’s blessing to others?
You may say, “Wait a minute! I’m not rich enough to be generous.” Oh, yes you are! No matter how much you’ve got, you can be generous. There’s a story about a woman in the Bible who only had two pennies, yet she gave them away. It’s a myth that “I don’t have enough to give.” You can always give something. In fact, you have to give something, because God is testing you. Verse 12 says, “For this service you perform not only meets the needs of God’s people, but also produces an outpouring of gratitude to God.”
When you’re going through a tough time, and you say, “God, I don’t have much, but whatever I’ve got, I’m willing to share. I’ve only got a little food here, but I’m willing to invite somebody over for dinner. I’m willing to share whatever I’ve got.” God promises to do three things for you: First, you will grow spiritually. Second, he will use you to meet other people’s needs. And third, God is praised.
When you give whatever you have, God will open the door of blessing in your life like you cannot imagine.”
Rick and his wife Kay began their ministry in 1980 in Orange County California in their garage. God has blessed their ministry which has and is still growing exponentially. When they began their ministry they decided to make a covenant with God to channel the blessings they received to others in need and to increase it every year. They started giving small, what some would call insignificant amounts, but it was what they could. Each year they did increase it. Recently Rick publicly announced that he and Kay are now donating over 70% of the income they receive to help others.
Pastor Warren challenges all of us to think about the following questions: “With whom can you share God’s blessing to you this week? If you don’t think you have much to give right now, what do you think God expects of you? How have you seen God bless you through your giving?”