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  • Jill Jarrell Newsome

Learning And Leaning

At a Wednesday evening church meeting a very wealthy man rose to give his testimony. "I'm a millionaire," he said, "and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life. I can still remember the turning point in my faith, like it was yesterday: I had just earned my first dollar and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who talked about his work. I knew that I only had a dollar bill and had to either give it all to God's work or nothing at all. So at that moment I decided to give my whole dollar to God. I believe that God blessed that decision, and that is why I am a rich man today." As he finished it was clear that everyone had been moved by this man's story. But, as he took his seat, a little old lady sitting in the same pew leaned over and said: "Wonderful story! I dare you to do it again!"

We laugh at this joke but then we think, wait, is that me? Am I trusting God the way I should be? The full definition of being a steward of God, which is the giving of ourselves through multiple outlets include: Prayers Presence Service Witness Gifts. We have so many opportunities to help us grow and develop as a steward of God. I am thankful that at a time when some of us and our community was in a state of fear and uncertainty, we saw this as a great opportunity for ministry rather than a crisis to be feared. We can give hope and confidence in God through this season. When we live through a crisis we reevaluate what is most important in our life. When we are forced to isolate, lose a job, our pay is cut, we begin to see what place Jesus has in our lives and where our trust rests. Where are we on our walk with God?

God has brought so much good from this tough time and we should not be surprised. Romans 8: 28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who] have been called according to his purpose.” I see so many people walking in my neighborhood. I see families doing things together outside such as riding bikes or playing ball. I know my family of four got to eat dinner together for a few months. We got to know our neighbors better. The 1918 flu pandemic happened during a World War and was horrible. However, the “Roaring 20’s” was a time of great financial expansion as well as church revival! Why was this? Because people had to reevaluate their life. They learned and leaned during that time. They learned more about Jesus and where their trust was and they leaned on Him. Proverbs 3: 5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” As I have said before, do not waste the Covid. Let God use this time to work in your life!

Do you feel richly blessed by what God has done in your life? Have you given back to God? David wrote in Psalm 24: 1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…” All that we have belongs to God. We are told this truth again in James 1: 17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” God does not need our gifts. If we truly believe that all good comes from God then we have to give back to God. We give back because of our gratitude to Him.

Where is God nudging you to take the next step? Is it in your prayers? Your presence? Your service? Or using your gifts? Let’s learn and lean during this time and trust God with our next step!


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