Giving the Shirt off Your Back
ILLUS: A few days ago, I received an e-mail from our missionaries in Kenya, Hoyt and Lois Osborne. Among the things they talked about, was this inspiring story...
"Word had come to us that one of our old men was very sick, so we decided to visit him. When we arrived, we found him sleeping in a house without a door, lying on boards that were covered with old rags--the conditions were terrible.
After our visit, we went home, took a mattress off one of our beds, took some sheets and blankets and brought them to the old man.
During our Easter church service, we appealed to the members for some clothes and other necessary items. An old man stood up and said, "I will give him my shirt." He had on a nice, new shirt and was proud to be able to wear it for Easter services. I had never seen him wear a new shirt or even a nice one, for that matter.
Following the church service, the old man went outside, took off his shirt and handed it to the pastor. It hurt us to see him do it, knowing how much the shirt meant to him; but he was very joyous about being able to give the only nice shirt he had ever owned. It was a lesson to all of us."
Well, not only was this a lesson for Hoyt and Lois and their members, whom, I might add; are all poor, but I believe there are some lessons in this story for us. As we consider our message, "Giving the Shirt off Your Back, there are three things I would like to say about the importance of giving:
I. Giving is Close to the Heart of God
II. Giving is an Act of Christian Kindness
III. Giving is an Investment With Eternal Rewards
I. GIVING IS CLOSE TO THE HEART OF GOD
When a man takes from what he has and gives it to someone else, with no other goal in mind other than to be a blessing, then he is doing the thing that is close to the heart of God. It is because of the mercy and compassion of God that we have the things that we need to ...
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