Standing Strong Through the Storm - Sunday, October 27, 2013

SACRIFICIAL GIVING

In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples. Luke 14:33

Johnny Li, a former colleague and current missionary trainer in China shares about his meeting with two young pastors there:

As I entered the house, I surprised to observe the humble existence of these two mighty men of God. They were the leaders of house churches in their provinces, which had grown the past nine years to more than 200,000 Christians. They were both in their late twenties and even though they have been in the ministry since they were nineteen their enthusiasm reflected beautifully.

Everybody knew about the work of the Lord through these faithful servants. I also knew that they both spent several years in prison in extremely harsh conditions, but nothing prepared me for this humble home and modest lifestyle.

There were no furniture items, no ornaments, and no beds in the small house. Their clothes were hanging on the wall due to a lack of cupboards. The only furniture was a table and a chair to sit on. There was a blanket on the ground that was obviously used as the bed. Together we sat down and I started questioning them about their activities and work that was bearing much fruit.

“How often do you travel to neighbouring villages?” I asked. “As often as possible,” they replied.

“Where do you obtain your finances to do so?” “We sell what we have,” they replied and supplied me with an explanation to the question about the empty house which I dared not ask. “We sold the chairs and we sold the cupboard,” they continued. “And that supplied much-needed funds for our outreach.”

“What happens when you have nothing more to sell?” One pastor looked sadly down to the ground and answered softly, “We find something else to sell.”

“But what?” I kept on pressuring them. “You have already sold everything and have nothing left to sell. How will you raise money now?” Then came the startling answer. “We sell our blood on the black market. We get about five dollars but the need is so great that we have to do something to tell the people around us about Jesus.”

“How can you do this” I asked. “How can you justify selling your blood to send out missionaries?” Without hesitation they answered, “We have no choice! The need is so great!”

RESPONSE: Today I will not complain about what I lack but think of what I can sacrifice for Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, I reaffirm today my decision to follow You. I give You everything I am and have.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

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