A Bigger Shovel
The Leprosy Mission produces an internal daily devotional guide, The Bridge, for use in offices, hospitals, clinics and projects around the world. Current and former staff and trustees from many countries contribute to the guide. We will share with you contributions made by our staff team.
It must be that time of year. The minister is using that Bible passage: “God loves a cheerful giver” to encourage us to open our chequebooks, wallets and purses to support God’s work.
Every year, our Minister invites us to consider our stewardship of God’s resources. For some, this is the time to miss a Sunday and count the contents of their piggybank. Or like me you go along, curious to see the new perspective the minister brings. This year, we thought about fruits of the Spirit – not bananas and oranges, but gifts of the Holy Spirit. The sixth fruit of the Spirit is generosity (some Bible translations call this goodness).
Jesus taught more about money than any other subject. He regularly spoke of money as generous giving rather than greedy gaining. As followers of Jesus, we should give generously of the resources that God has given to us. We should invest in God’s kingdom to express our thanks for His blessings. When we give, we shouldn’t worry about our own finances, but trust God to provide and care for tomorrow: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt 6: 34).
Preacher Charles Spurgeon learned about this trust when he was fundraising for poor children in London. He had an ambitious target of £300 (already I can sympathise with him!). After a week’s fundraising, he’d reached his target, which would transform the lives of children. Giving thanks to God for reaching his target, Spurgeon felt God was prompting him to give the money to another preacher called George Mueller.
Imagine the scene: you’ve met your fundraising target, then sense God wants you to give it all away. I would struggle. Well, Spurgeon placed his trust in God and gave the money away to the needy cause God had told him about.
When Spurgeon returned to London, God had gone ahead of him, providing not just the £300, but a little bit more. Spurgeon’s trust had been rewarded.
Spurgeon had discovered what Christian author Joe Stowell calls ‘a bigger shovel’! “I shovel out, and God shovels in, and He has a bigger shovel than I have.”
Spend time to think how generous you are with your time, talents and treasure. Remember, we can never give more than God gives us.