“I’m sorry,” I said to the woman sitting before me in my office.
“Our benevolence fund is empty. I don’t have any money to give you but we can pray about the need and I know God will help.”
I remember she was wearing a blue sweat jacket. Her hair was pulled back into a pony tail and her face wore a mix of weariness and anger that comes with living long in the shadow of despair.
“No. If you can’t give me money there’s no point in praying.” She returned flatly.
Today we are discussing Romans 1:11 in our conversation through Romans. Pick up previous bits of our chatter on THE ROAD THROUGH ROMANS PAGE
In Romans 1:11 Paul writes,
I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— Romans 1:11
I wish I could say that the story above was a one time deal. I wish I could say that I have only ever had to turn one person away without providing the need. I cannot say that because the need is always greater than the cash supply. Someone always walks in the door after the last turkey is given away or the last gift card is handed out. Someone’s oil tank always runs dry just after we have helped someone else pay off the rent bill and we have to say with the apostle, “Silver and gold have I none but such as I have give I thee.” Acts 3:6
The truth is though, it is when the silver and gold run out that the Christian life…church life really gets exciting. The power of the church has never been in its fiscal solvency or its financial prosperity. The power of the church is found in its ability to impart spiritual blessings.
Spiritual blessings change lives from the inside out. In the end that is what we really need. We need the inside out change more than we need the rent payment or the lights kept on. We need the power of God transforming our souls more than we need our next meal. If we come to live in kings palaces but our souls are lost what have we really accomplished? On the other hand Christ’s promise is this, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33,34
What I long to give people is a spiritual blessing. Our culture may not value such a thing but then our culture does not share many values with Christ or his apostles anymore. I decided long ago I would throw my lot in with the Jesus instead of the world. His way of spiritual blessing ultimately opens the door to meeting all the other needs men might have.