IT DON’T TAKE MUCH Andy Hollifield 3-7-19
Psalms 37:16 A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked.
Have you ever heard anyone say to someone in need, “Here, take it. It ain’t much but it’s all I’ve got.” That is a really charitable and hospitable sentiment to have and I believe one that the Lord blesses. I began to think about that and some of the people in the bible that gave what they had without expecting anything in return. I have always thought of Mary anointing the head and feet of Jesus with the alabaster box of precious oil. While that was an expensive personal sacrifice, I was thinking more along the lines of people who didn’t have much of real value that gave it, never expecting even to be noticed for it. You know, just giving it because someone had a need.
One of the first that comes to mind is the boy with the loaves and fish. Has it ever occurred to you that this kid may have never even met Jesus? The disciples were charged with the task of feeding a great multitude of five thousand men besides the women and children in John 6. One thing I noticed was that none of the other writers even mentioned where they got the fish and loaves except John, even though all of them wrote about the event. It is obvious from that fact that there was not a lot of notoriety involved in this lad’s selfless act. There is also nothing in the scripture that says the boy gave them to Jesus. As a matter of fact, you would think that he had given them to the disciples and they took them to Jesus. The boy’s name is never given and we don’t know if he was given the leftovers. You can think that the disciples each had a basket or that the boy took them home with him but the fact is, we just don’t know what became of them. The one thing we can be assured of is that nothing we give to the Lord goes to waste. It may appear that way to others as in the case of Mary, but that’s just because others may just not know what the Lord is going to accomplish with what you give.
Another story of this nature that has always caught my attention is the Shunamite woman in 2 Kings 4. I am talking not about the poor woman who was fixing to lose her sons to creditors, but the great woman in the city. She constrained Elisha to come and eat with her and her husband and he apparently had an open invitation because every time he passed through, he went to eat with them. At some point, she talked to her husband about them fixing him a room on the wall so he would always have a place to stay when he was in town. She was a great woman and possibly a woman of means since she not only fed him but provided him a furnished room. She never asked for anything from him and even refused to benefit by him using his influence with the king to help her. While trying to figure what he could do to repay her kindness toward him, his servant Gehazi mentioned to him that she had no son. Elisha called her to him and promised she would have a son. Upon hearing this, she told him he was a man of God and he shouldn’t lie to her. Not only did she have a son, but years later when the boy got sick and died, she went to find Elisha again. She then reminded him how she had told him not to lie to her about having a son and now he was dead. Gehazi couldn’t resurrect him using Elisha’s staff but when Elisha himself came and laid on the boy a couple of times, he regained his life. All of this came about because this woman wanted to give a little something to help the work of the Lord. God will bless you for whatever you give no matter how little or seemingly unimportant it might be.
One of the most well-known stories of something little being given is the story of the widow’s mites. A mite is worth one-fourth of a penny. It is the only thing that is worth less than a farthing which equals a penny. This widow put half of a penny into the temple treasury yet Jesus told his disciples she had put in more than all of them because she cast in all she had which was all her living. The bible doesn’t say what became of that widow or if she ever accumulated any kind of wealth after that. But just to show that her donation wasn’t in vain let me point out something. First, Jesus didn’t speak about the amounts that anyone had given except her. There is no conversation about the contributions of the rich. Also, not only do we know her amount and her financial status, but we know it because we are reading about it several hundred years later. Jesus made her an example for all because of her gift.
At Christmas we often hear the story of the little drummer boy. He had nothing to give a king and all he could do was play for him on his drum. The fact is that Jesus isn’t looking for great gifts, he is looking for a great heart that is giving it. God doesn’t want us to give “grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” No matter how little it may seem to you, God wants you to give it to him and he will accomplish great things with it. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that what you have to give God; your time, talents, finances, or whatever, isn’t worth anything. If the Lord can break and bless five loaves and two fish that a little boy gave and feed five thousand plus, he can do great things with what you can give him. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!