Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
The Christian and Missionary Alliance has been marked by a powerful spirit of generosity. In the mid-1890s, a call went out to members of the C&MA to donate their gold rings, watches etc. for foreign missions. Gold rings were replaced by iron rings, and gold watchcases for ones of gunmetal; they were worn as signs of dedication to reaching the world for Jesus. Evangelism weighed so intensely on the hearts of the faithful that thousands of dollars were raised this way.
In Exodus 35, Moses is instructed by God to call the people of Israel to give sacrificially for the building of the Tabernacle:
Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the LORD has commanded: From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze” … Then the whole Israelite community withdrew from Moses’ presence, and everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the LORD for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments. All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the LORD (Exodus 35:4-5, 20-22).
People gave so extravagantly that Moses told them to STOP offering:
So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done.” Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work (Exodus 36:4-7).
Could this kind of extraordinary sacrifice happen today? A few weeks ago, I saw it. I had just finished preaching in one of our churches, and the pastor was closing the service. All of a sudden, a woman stood to her feet and walked forward. She asked for a moment to share what God had spoken to her. With great boldness, she said,
Today God has spoken to me. A few weeks ago, I lost my wedding ring. We could not find it anywhere, and eventually, we went through our insurance company to get it replaced. I received the insurance money and have been searching for a new ring. In the meantime, I have been wearing my grandmother’s ring. Today, God told me that I am not to replace my ring but rather give the money to reach the lost. So here I am, standing before you and declaring that I will obey God and rejoice in the fact that my grandmother’s ring will do just fine!
The room went silent. In that moment, we realized that we were witnessing a deep sacrifice for the Kingdom of God. It reminded me of an experience I had a few years ago. I had just purchased a new camera. It had all the options I had dreamed of and had become a bit of an idol in my life. Shortly after I purchased it, we invited an International Worker couple to our home. They were heading back overseas in a few weeks, and we wanted to encourage them. At the end of the evening, I asked if they needed anything before returning to the field. They said, “We really need a new camera!” Immediately, a civil war broke out in my soul: “Not my camera!” Very quickly, the conviction of God wove its way into my heart, and I went upstairs and got my new camera. I gave it to this couple, and they were thrilled. Immediately, I felt a release in my own heart; it was like something came alive within me.
I wonder if God has been challenging you to make a sacrificial decision for the advancement of his Kingdom. Would it not be amazing if one day I sent a message to our churches, to you, telling you to STOP offering, because we have too much? Iron for Gold … in light of eternity, grandma’s ring looks pretty good!
“The Kingdom of Christ is the kingdom of love” — A.B. Simpson
Please find the original version in C&MA website