by Steve Jones

This content is part of a series.

A Success Story for Givers (1 of 7)
Series: A Capital Campaign Series
Steve Jones
II Corinthians 8:1-5

Introduction: It had been a hard winter in the Rockies. The snow piled deeper and deeper. The temperature dropped below zero and stayed there. The rivers froze over. People were suffering. The Red Cross used helicopters to fly in supplies. After a long, hard day, as they were returning to their base, the rescue team in a helicopter saw a cabin nearly submerged in the snow. A thin wisp of smoke came from the chimney. The men figured those people in that cabin were probably critically short of food, fuel, and medicine. Because of the trees they had to set down about a mile from the cabin. They put their heavy emergency equipment on the backs, trudged through waist-deep snow, and reached the cabin exhausted, panting, and perspiring. They pounded on the door and a thin, gaunt mountain woman finally answered. The lead man panted, "Ma'am, we're from the Red Cross." She was silent for a moment, and then she said, "It's been a long, hard winter, Sonny. I just don't think we can give anything this year!"

We have become accustomed to people's relentless asking for money. The salesman who pounds on our door; the computer recording on the other end of the phone, the appeal letter in the mail, the offering meditation at church, and the Girl Scout who meets us at the mall are all out to take our money. We brace ourselves to say no. When somebody approaches claiming to want to help us, we're suspicious. There has to be an ulterior motive.

The apostle Paul was traveling all over the world taking up a collection for poor Christians in Jerusalem. Usually the mother church supports the mission church, but in that day it was just the opposite. The Jerusalem church had sent out missionaries, but it had become a very poor congregation. There was famine in Judea, so the economy was down. On top of that, Christians were being persecut ...

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