Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also"
The gospel message is the transforming message of mankind. Jesus life, death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of the individual separated/lost soul which has a global application. How important is this message of redemption in our lives? The passion of Christ will be lived out in His followers. This emerging desire to be like Jesus Christ will be reflected in the priorities of one's financial life. Supporting church family efforts to proclaim and promote the gospel will become a priority. Sending support to specific Christian efforts will begin to be more important as one draws closer to Christ. His heart, passions, and desires naturally become important to the person who is seeking Him. The Word of God and prayer will transform the natural perspective of money. There is little middle ground; a person will either serve money or serve God. It cannot be both. The person who is serving God will naturally use money for God's glory.
Acts 20:35 Paul reminds us of the words of Jesus, "it is more blessed to give than to receive".
Our Lord and Savior was giving us a glimpse of a happier existence that can be experienced on this side of heaven. There is a blessedness or happiness that can be experienced by sharing your "abundance or increase" with people who are less fortunate and truly in need of assistance.
Real Life Inspiration from Ecuador
Megan and I were in Ecuador in May of 2015 ministering alongside the Anzalone family and the church of Iglesia Biblica Bautista de Manta. This particular day we were scheduled to have lunch with a wonderful family that had hosted Megan's 28 hour "immersion" experience. Tony was to be our interpreter for the luncheon. Joy, his wife, phoned him while we were driving and notified him that there had been a change of plans. We stopped by the Anzalone residence to drop off their oldest son and pick up Joy. She informed us that Yolanda had called and felt that the end was near. Joy could tell she was very weak as she could barely understand her. Yolanda had been battling congestive heart failure and her chest was filling with fluid. She told Joy that she wanted them to pray with her.
Tony dropped us off and the two of them went directly to Mrs. Delgado's home. It was not until later that afternoon that Tony and Joy were able to share the story with me and Megan. They gave us a little background information about her. Yolanda was on a very limited income and did not normally have enough money to purchase food and medicine. Many times she was forced to make a decision about whether to purchase the medicine to treat her illness or pay her living expenses. Her plight was well known to the people of the church in Manta. Upon starting the new food pantry ministry, they immediately put Yolanda's name on the list as there was no question that she needed assistance with weekly food provisions.
Tony and Joy informed us that one of the main things that Yolanda wanted to resolve was transferring her Victory 1:27 offering into their care. She had made a container out of thin foam board then cut a round top and bottom. It was held together with duct tape and she had cut a small hole in the top. She informed the Anzalones that she was concerned that in the event of her death, the "Rice and Beans" offering would not make it to the church to be sent to Uganda. She wanted to have peace of mind about this unfinished business. She apologized multiple times because the container was not full to the top. Tony and Joy spent their time talking with her, encouraging her with scripture, and praying. Yolanda was so appreciative that they had come to her home so that she could give them the offering.
As Tony and Joy were sharing the background information, Tony pulled out the container. Upon seeing the homemade container with the handwritten Spanish across the middle, I began to fight back the tears. Megan and I watched in amazement as he opened it and counted out the change. About twenty dollars (U.S.) had been set aside to help feed hungry children and families in Uganda by a struggling woman in Ecuador. The reality of her commitment was astounding and the room was silent. Our families each matched her investment so that her sacrifice became a $60 offering from Yolanda to the Victory 1:27 "Rice and Beans" fund. We all sat in awe as we contemplated the godly example we had just experienced from a woman who genuinely believed in Jesus and His teachings.
Megan and I have been forever changed by the sacrifices of a dying woman who had a heart to help others. Regardless of her challenges, her soul found a way to love in a very tangible way.
May Yolanda Delgado's story inspire us to simply, "Do what we can for our Lord with what we have been given.
Shared by Timothy Duggins Sr (June 2015)
Yolanda Delgado went to heaven July 29, 2015. She is now with the Father; the result of her faith in the work of the Son.