September 12, 2016

Beginning to Trust

Luke 19:1-10

Today salvation has come to this house. . . .

—  Luke 19:9

As we started our little church over 20 years ago, a group of strangers began to color each other’s lives. Among them was my friend Ron, and for him it was like being splashed with color from buckets of paint.

Ron somewhat nervously opened his home for a men’s Bible study on Monday nights. Uptight as he was, he put out a little food at first. But then he started cooking steaks on his huge backyard grill.

Ron became generous with his “stuff.” He began to trust people, and in the process he became more open with his material possessions—not because anyone asked him to, but because he wanted to.

Many of us think, “Oh yeah, giving. Sure . . .” We set up a little calculator in our brains, and while God listens to all that earnest clicking going on in our heads, we finally make a calculation and let a little money leak out. But it’s a hard thing to do.

But Ron was just open. “Here, have some chips.” “Hey, try this steak.” He had never done anything like this before: giving things away just for the joy of it. Ron’s place was kind of like Zacchaeus’s house must have been when Jesus came to visit.

Then, after we had eaten, we all talked about the stuff of life. We’d get into some very deep discussions. Eventually Andy would say something crazy, and we’d laugh. It was good to be together—with each other, and with God.

Lord, I want to discover the joy of giving. Here’s my life, and my stuff; help me to serve you well—and with joy. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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