Giving God’s Money

1 Cor. 16:1-5 (2)

R. G. LeTourneau, the Christian inventor, businessman and entrepreneur made his mark in the world in an unusual way.  His account chronicles a sixth grade dropout who went on to found a University.  In 1915, broke and discouraged after numerous failed attempts in life he went to his pastor, Rev. Devol for advice.  Expecting to be told that to be a totally committed Christian he would have to become a missionary or a pastor, he was surprised to hear his pastor saying something totally different.  Rev. Devol said, God needs business men too!”  From that day, R. G. LeTourneau considered his business to be a partnership with God.  Even though he was continually in debt he gave generously to the Lord’s work.   After the Great Depression, his business began to prosper and eventually he decided to give 90% of his income to God.  He liked to put it this way, “It’s not how much of my money I give to God, but how much of God’s money I keep for myself.”

When we come to realize that the penny that we are pinching is not really ours, but God’s, we will be less selfish in our economic practices and more generous in our benevolence.  When we come to realize that the dollar that we are stretching is not ours, but God’s, we be more careful of how it is spent and more free to give it to support the work of God.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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Great Enough to Bend the Knee

John 13:1-17 (5)

Booker Taliaferro Washington (April 5, 1856 – November 14, 1915) took advantage of the possibilities post-civil war freedom offered.  He wrote five books, was an educator, orator and advisor to several US presidents.  He urged oppressed, discriminated, and disfranchised former slaves to avoid confrontation.  He argued instead, that the black people put their reliance on long-term educational and economic advancement among their people. 

One day he was stopped by a wealthy white woman. Having never met Washington, she offered him a job making a few dollars chopping wood for her.  Washington smiled and accepted her offer to do the menial chore.  He chopped the wood, carried the logs into the house and stacked them by her fireplace.  At this time a young girl recognized him and told the wealthy lady who she had hired.

In embarrassment, the woman went to the Tuskegee Institute where he was the president.  She was ushered into his office and proceeded to apologize.  “It’s perfectly all right, Madam,” he replied. “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it’s always a delight to do something for a friend.”  His gracious and humble spirit won her heart.  As a result she became a catalyst in his fund raising events for the college.

We laud great personalities who bend the knee in humility, but none can rival our Lord who left the throne of glory to robe Himself in flesh so that He could show us how to live a life that would be pleasing to God.

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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Active Love

John 12:1-9 (3)

During Oliver Cromwell’s reign as Lord Protector of England, a young soldier was to be executed.  His fiancé came to plead his case.  Her efforts to spare the life this young man seemed to be futile.  Oliver Cromwell turned a deaf ear to her requests and the execution plans continued as planned.  The execution was to take place at the ringing of the curfew bell.   

The scheduled time finally arrived.  The sexton pulled on the rope to ring the bell.   To his amazement the expected peel of the bell was not heard.  It was discovered that the soldier’s fiancé had climbed into the belfry and clinging onto the clapper had prevented it from striking the bell  when the rope was pulled.  Battered, bruised and bleeding she was brought before Cromwell.  As she confessed how she had expressed her love in this sacrificial manner, Cromwell commuted the sentence freeing the young man to join his devoted fiancé stating,  ‘Go, your lover lives; ‘Curfew will not ring tonight.’ ”

True love goes the extra mile.  True love turns the cheek.  True love speaks well of another in a crowd of people raising their eyebrows in doubt.  True love hangs on a cross and says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”

By Dr. Gayle Woods

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