Generous Hearts


Pastor Top is bi-vocational pastor of Little Oak Baptist Church somewhere in a rural area.
Top was smiling as he got off the phone with Laura. She had called to point out the need of a couple in the area. The husband had lost his job. The wife worked part time and her hours were being cut. They had two kids in grade school. The couple didn’t attend church yet were a nice family trying to raise their family. The family was in need. They hadn’t asked for help yet Laura, church member had become aware or their situation. She had helped them on her own and realized this was an opportunity for Little Oak church to put faith into action. Laura was rallying the folks of Little Oak to give time, money, and even canned goods to help the family.
Top was very humbled and amused by the response. A few years when he became the pastor of Little Oak the concept of getting involved and helping a family in need was a little foreign. People gave canned goods to the local food bank. They would give money to the Salvation Army. It was good to give the way they did yet there seemed to be a reluctance to touch the need in the area. The area around Little Oak was like many areas where folks weren’t rich, many worked hard, yet it was difficult to raise a family and make ends meet.
Top had been disappointed the first time he asked the folks to help a family and they refused. The family needed help winterizing their home and a few minor things they didn’t know how to do. Top thought it was the perfect mission project to go over and spend the time to help them. They would also spend under $100 dollars for the project. The response of the church was a sound NO! Top went home that night demoralized. He believed what James said in James 2: 18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.”[e] Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works. [f] Several verses prior to 18 James had pointed out the connection between faith and action. He contrasted the treatment of the rich and poor pointing out there should be no difference. James went on to say that a person’s faith came to life in the actions that they did. He spoke of those in need of food and clothing and people that professed to follow Christ refusing to help them. This was not faith but lip service to being a follower. Top had avoided the temptation to teach from James following the refusal of the church to help a family. He instead spent time calling on the Lord for wisdom and patience as to how to handle it. Hearts began to soften; attitudes began to change toward those in need. One evening after church at a fellowship a good discussion on helping sprang up and that was a turning point. Individual members of Little Oak began to help folks in need. At first it was usually the members of Little Oak. Then it began to branch out to families who had no connection to the church. Little Oak wasn’t affluent or large yet helped as much and as many as they could.
The Lord was at work in several ways. People of the church were praying for families not connected to the church. The Lord works on the believers heart as they pray then they go and touch the lives of those they have been praying for. The hands that serve following the prayers come in all sizes and ages. The oldest Sunday School class was making Shoe Boxes for Samaritans purse. It seemed severa other groups in the church were actively involved in the lives of a family who weren’t members or attenders of Little Oak. Top remembered reading in church history that many pagans came to know Christ because the believers cared for them. The church in Acts set the example for the church today. We must have an action oriented faith. A generous heart that pleased the Lord.

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