Home of Wheaton Bible Church's Quarterly Magazine
by Scott Landon, Director of Finance and Administration
While I typically use this space to talk about one or more issues related to our stewardship and generosity as a church, I’m going to “share the platform” in this issue of LIFE with Larry Robinson, a member of Wheaton Bible Church who brings powerful biblical insight to our ongoing conversation on giving and generosity.
Larry is the author of More Than the Gift: A Love Relationship, a book that is packed with personal stories and Bible truth. It was written with the goal of inspiring believers to recognize the depth of meaning and purpose that God embeds in the gift of giving He has bestowed on us. “Our giving,” Larry writes, “always has been about so much more than the gift itself.”
In this excerpt from his book, he uses a story from his own life to illustrate how God is focused, not on the gift itself, but on the heart with which we give.
“My Son Garrett,” he writes, “recently gave me a glimpse of a giver’s heart.”
It was my birthday. The family and I were sitting in the family room and I was preparing to open the gifts they had given. Garrett is my youngest son and he was five years old at the time. He was very excited and full of anticipation. As I began to unwrap a present, he ran to me and asked, “Dad, would you open mine first?” How could I refuse?
Opening his gift, I discovered that he had given a battery-powered Gillette razor. Bursting with joy, he explained, “Dad, you need this. This razor has five blades and your old razor only has four.” Then he added a surprising request: “Dad, can I watch you use it?” I thanked Garrett for his gift and explained that it was evening and that I usually shaved early in the morning. He could watch me then.
Garrett was the first one to awaken the next morning. Running to my bedside, he again requested, “Dad, can I watch you use it?” I immediately arose, lathered up my face and began to shave. As he watched with sparkling eyes, Garrett had never seemed happier or more fulfilled.
To his readers, Larry then asks, “Can you imagine what our churches would be like if each member gave of their time, their talent, and their treasure willingly with a joyful spirit? What would it be like if our main concern was that our gift pleased our Lord and brought benefit to the Kingdom?” Those are great questions that Larry asks, questions that are worthy of our personal reflection as we consider how God would have us give toward His work.
Larry goes on to say, “What would it be like if we came to the Lord saying, ‘I know there is a need somewhere in the Kingdom. I don’t have much to give, but I know that if I put it into Your hands it can make a difference. All that I have has come from You and I’m willing to give back to You from what You have given me. I thank you for the opportunity to give and all I ask is that it be used according to Your will. Use it to bless the work of ministry. Use it to bless the workers of ministry. Use it so that Your Kingdom comes. Use it that Your will be done. Use it to glorify Your name.’ ”
From my chair, I am privileged to hear and see many stories of what God is doing in and through the ministries of Wheaton Bible Church. I know firsthand the impact of our gifts, and I regularly read 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9—where Paul encourages the young Corinthian church to be generous in their giving to the Lord’s work—as I personally consider what the Lord is calling me to do with the time, talents and treasures He’s entrusted to me.
Let’s join Larry in imagining what more could take place in our ministries—and in our own hearts and lives—if each of us began the regular practice of giving joyfully and generously to the Lord.
“For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” -Hosea 6:6 (ESV)
ABOUT LARRY ROBINSON, AUTHOR OF MORE THAN THE GIFT: A LOVE RELATIONSHIP
Larry and his wife Sharon, the parents of four sons, have attended Wheaton Bible Church since 2008 and became members last year. To learn more about Larry’s stewardship ministry, visit his website.