IT MATTERS Andy Hollifield 8-22-18
1 Thessalonians 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
I received a couple of pictures from missionary Josh Boyd who goes to West Virginia. It was two pictures of little girls that he had just given a “My Little Pony” figurine set to that had been given to my by Help 4 Kids that I had passed along to him. They had given them out recently and he told me they were a big hit to a lot of little girls in W. Va. As I looked at those pictures, I thought about how much it matters. There was a lot more that went on when he gave out those toys than what meets the eye. Do you realize that every time one of those kids looks at one of those figurines they will instantly think about that preacher from North Carolina? They may not remember Josh’s name but they will never forget him. As they get older and have more opportunity to get into sin, situations may arise and they might think “I probably shouldn’t do this because that is what that preacher said when I was a little kid”. You are possibly thinking “that is a lot of mays and mights” but you would be wrong. That is just how our God can work.
One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 55:11 “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”. I realized a while back that what that verse actually is a written guarantee from God. Nowhere in that verse did he say “may” or “might” but rather used the word “shall”. That means it is a definite thing. When that fully rung up on me I realized that every time we pass out a tract or bible or anything with scripture, God has already promised that “it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”. You may be wondering what that has to do with a toy. The toy will make them listen. Meeting a need or a want will gain you instant credibility with anyone. Matthew 10:42 promises a reward for just giving a cup of cold water to a little one.
As I thought about those faces in those pictures, and the joy that was evident in their smiles, I realized “It matters”. If that is what it takes to reach those little kids in W. Va. then it is worth it because “it matters”. Think about this for a minute; God brought those toys from the manufacturer to Help 4 Kids in Myrtle Beach. He then brought them to their Swannanoa facility and they gave some to H.O.P.E. Ministries. I then gave them to Josh who transported them to a town in W. Va. right into the hands of little girls that probably didn’t have a lot of stuff that was their very own. God did a lot of work to make that all happen. When the word was preached up there in the church service Josh held, an 11 year-old boy accepted the Lord. I don’t know what all Josh took up there but I do know this: the heart of that little boy was where God sent his word to and it definitely prospered. I am sure the word also took root in some other hearts also and it won’t return unto him void.
I got told years ago by a deacon in a church I used to preach at some, that “you can’t help those people”. That was early on when I was going to Kentucky every month. I understand what he meant but I also thought, “I can’t fix all their problems, but I can ease the load of a few of them and make a difference because it matters”. Isaiah 1:17 tells us to “relieve the oppressed”. The word “relieve” is used seven times in scripture. It says to relieve thy brother even if he is a stranger, the oppressed, the widows, and also speaks three times about relieving the soul. In Acts 11:29 the disciples sent “relief” to the brethren in Judea. They gave according to their ability.
Each time I walk into Help 4 Kids in Myrtle Beach, I am fascinated by the pictures of some of the thousands of kids they have helped over the years. Some of them are being helped in the third or fourth generation. I bet if you ask those kids they would tell you “it matters”. Those little girls in west Virginia would likely tell you “it matters”. All of the parents of kids being helped would tell you “it matters”. H4K started following Hurricane Hugo in 1983 I believe. Two women begging what food they could and buying what they could, took it out to the outlying areas of Horry County to folks without power, food, and sometimes water to help them literally survive. Now, God has blessed and they are helping in western North Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee as well as South Carolina. I am sure all of those folks would say “it matters”.
You may not think what you do amounts to much but “it matters”. I have told “The Applesauce Story many times in the years since Hurricane Katrina. Some lady in Asheville bought a 4 pack of Motts applesauce when she bought her groceries. She put it in our food barrel at her church. A month or two later that storm hit. I took the food I had with me and I had that applesauce under the bunk in the sleeper of the truck I was driving. When we arrived late that Saturday night with Hearts With Hands, we were told about a couple of babies that hadn’t eaten in four days. Their dad was working unloading trucks and the family was sitting there in their truck. It was that applesauce that gave those little boys their first meal in days. I don’t say that boastfully but God knew about that storm when he had that lady to buy the applesauce. He had it already prearranged how it would get there and when. Whatever your part is: don’t quit because “it matters”. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!