This weekend was Back to Church Sunday and a great deal of preparation went into getting things ready. As we were picking up supplies at Sam's, we ran into a gentleman who struck up a conversation with us. Apparently, people take notice when you have nearly 400 hamburger and hot dog buns. He asked if we were running the concession stand at the University of Arkansas Game and we shared with him what we were doing.
I love how God opens doors for us to share about what He is doing in the Kingdom of God. This gave us an intro to talk about church. We let him know that we were hosting a church service and car show and would be feeding everyone for free. Sometimes people don't associate free with church. Too often, the church asks the community for things but the church doesn't always give back. We invited him to church and to the car show. We talked a few more moments and parted ways.
About 5 minutes later, this same gentleman tracked us down and found us. He said, "I can't make it to your event because I have other things at that time, but I would like to give you this to help with your costs. I like what you are doing." He handed me $40.00. I was blown away by His generosity. I was left thinking, "Here is a complete stranger that is giving money to a church and a person that he knows nothing about."
For me, I left that encounter with a couple of things running through my mind.
1.) I believe God was smiling on our event. This man's gift was a validation that God is paying attention to what His church is doing.
2.) It challenged me to be more generous. To think that a total stranger sowed into God's kingdom stirs me to give more.
How often do we overlook needs? Worse yet, how many times do we fail to heed God's nudging to bless someone else or their ministry? I believe this gentleman in Sam's was just following the leading of the Holy Spirit, even though he may not have realized it. What blessed me more than anything was the fact that this man had received a huge blessing from being generous. The look on his face told the story of a heart that was touched by God because of his giving.
When we learn to be generous, we will find a greater joy, a more permanent happiness. I have rarely seen I generous person who is miserable. But Misers? Well let's just say they are MISERable. I leave you with the words of the Apostle Paul who wrote about having the attitude of generosity. "You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 NLT
Danny and his wife, Sonya, have been lead pastors at Rogers First Assembly in Rogers, Arkansas since 2008.