My Favourite Stories #1

Several times the Book of Revelation describes God as the “almighty.” This word translates from a Greek compound of “all” with “powerful” or “strong.” If God is truly all powerful, then we don’t need to worry. He can do great things with our small efforts, if we put ourselves in the place where He wants us to be. This is illustrated by an amazing story from the year 1900. 57Cents?

The story begins with a sobbing little girl standing near a small church. She had been turned away because it was “too crowded.” “I can’t go to Sunday School,” she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the real reason for her rejection and taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday School class.

Two years later, the child died, and her parents called for the kind-hearted pastor to handle the final arrangements: As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled red purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note, scribbled in childish handwriting, which read: “This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday School.” The pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story does not end there. A newspaper published the story. It was read by a wealthy developer who offered them an expensive parcel of land which he offered to sell for 57 cents. Within five years the little girl’s gift had increased to $250,000. Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.
Today the Temple Baptist Church, has a seating capacity of 3,300. There is a Temple University as well. The existence of both were inspired by that girl’s dying gift. It goes to show what the Almighty can do with 57 cents.

There is a miracle that is recorded in all four gospels. Considering that we only have 44 days recorded from the life of Jesus, this is significant! The longest account is found in John 6 and tells the story of the feeding of the 5,000 and the little boy who gave Jesus what he had (5 Barley loaves and 2 small fish.) It is amusing to compare this with the reaction of the disciples to the situation. The people had been there all day listening to Jesus and needed food. Philip looked at the task and said it is too big. Andrew looked at the resources and said there is not enough to feed them all, but the little boy looked to Jesus, and gave Him what he had, and the job was done – 5,000 men plus women and children were feed.

Compare this to today’s problem; we have a seemingly impossible task before us. Such great multitudes to carry the gospel to; seemingly, inadequate resources (the mission field survives on a shoestring budget.) The main problem is the messengers themselves. Philip surveys the circumstances instead of looking at Christ. Andrew looks at the resources and also leaves out Christ. The little boy looks at Jesus, “except you be like children” Jesus said.

It may seem nothing to you that you have nothing to give in the great scheme of things, but both stories tell us to give Jesus what you have and see what He does with it.

As a postscript you may want to google music clips from the Temple Baptist choir.

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