BY: DAVID HILLEGASS
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” – Luke 21:3-4 NLT
PERSONAL REFLECTION: A few months back on a Saturday afternoon I was praying in my home. One thing I remember in particular about this prayer was that I was praying for Joil Marbut because I knew that he was going to be preaching at our church the next day. As I was praying and listening, I heard the Lord whisper to me “get your offering ready,” and with that word I jumped into action. I was thinking that Andrew would probably take up a special offering for Joil and his mission, so instead of just throwing in whatever cash I might have on me I would write a check for something slightly larger. Thus, when the collection plate was passed around on Sunday morning I dropped in an extra check for Joil and felt rather content with my giving obedience.
However, as Joil’s sermon was coming towards the end I could sense two things happening to me. First, my heart was burning for the words that the Holy Spirit (through Joil) were speaking that day, just like the disciples on the road to Emmaus. Second, when Joil gave the call for people to remain standing because God had a call on their lives and the message was the invitation to start that call, I realized that I had completely missed what God was trying to invite me to do the day before.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: My heart and mind thought I was doing the right thing, but I was just a Pharisee dropping a tiny bit of my surplus into the collection boxes for Jesus to see. I wasn’t anywhere close to the poor widow who gave everything she had. Pastor Ed said something a couple of weeks ago about “not putting a period where God has placed a comma.” In fact, this same exact quote was on a large sign at a church one block from my parent’s home where I use to walk every day for years. If you look at what the Lord told me you see that there is a comma in the quote, but my action changed it to “get your offering ready.” The Lord did not care about my money at that moment. In fact, most of the time He doesn’t care about my money. “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” (Luke 20:24) The money I have is the United States of America’s. The only thing I could truly have offered was me.
PRAYER: Jesus, it’s time. It’s time to lie me down on the operating table and cut me open. I need open heart surgery, Lord. Please come into this brokenness and fix it. I give you complete access. Forgive me for placing a period where you had a comma. Forgive me for thinking I am smart enough to figure out all you want for me in just a few short words. Forgive me for offering what is easy when what you wanted was me. All of me. Lord, transform me into the new person you desire me to be. Change my heart, mind, and thoughts so I can learn your will for my life, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:2) In Jesus might name I pray. Amen.
(TO SEE AND HEAR JOIL MARBUT’S SERMON MENTIONED ON THIS DEVOTIONAL, CLICK HERE: http://lifeassembly.com/the-strange-part-two/ )
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dave Hillegass and his family have been attending Life Assembly since March of 2010. He is married to his beautiful wife, Megan, and together they have three boys: Luke, Thomas, and Isaac. Dave is an agricultural commodities trader by profession. He is ecstatic about the Lord pouring into him and out of him through TFL and Marriage 911 this fall.