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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Handout (04/14/11)

TITLE: I Beg Your Pardon
By Dr. Michael Cochran


Jacob’s parents began teaching him about “First Fruits” at a very early age. He had started out tithing his allowance and then every odd job done as a boy growing up. Now, that he was a young man with a good job. Giving was not an issue. Jacob actually found great pleasure in worshipping God in this area. However, he knew in his heart that the Lord wanted him to expand in his giving and share the love of God by meeting some of the desperate needs around him.

He really didn’t have a problem with giving over and beyond, but with all the needs that he saw facing many people today. He thought, “I’m only one person and can’t help everyone.” Even though he saw first hand how his parents gave with a gladness of heart. He was somewhat disillusioned by a documentary he saw on the local news station about beggars. They had followed several street beggars only to find them living in nice neighborhoods. The worse part is he recognized one guy that had knocked on his car window at a stoplight asking for a handout because of the lack of work.

How could he be sure that his helping was actually reaching someone deserving and in dire straits? He certainly didn’t want to support deliberate idleness or perpetuate misbehavior, such as the abuse of alcohol or drugs, or even compulsive gambling. Jacob wanted his giving to have purpose and not encourage those who lie about their situation to continue defrauding others.

Deep inside, Jacob knew that he was blessed to be a blessing to others and he had to obey God in this area of his walk. He had seen first hand the joy it was to give and share the love of God and how it satisfied ones soul like nothing else could through the life of his parents. Yes, even if it meant being taken advantage of once in a while. Jacob thought, “What would Jesus do?” The answer was obvious and if he was to mirror Christ in his own life and to others. Then he would go about doing good, also.

Jacob’s quest to become everything God had intended and purposed for his life. Leaves me with two questions: First; “Do you see the distress of others as an opportunity to be an expression of God’s love or do see the poor as undeserving and looking for a handout?” Secondly, “Does there have to be something in it for you or does it come straight from the heart with no strings attached?”

In conclusion, we certainly want to periodically check our motives for giving. Whether, it’s through a helping hand, a listening ear or our finances. So, we might remain humble to the distress call of someone in need. And, we’re doing whatever is necessary to meet others’ real needs by carrying them out with good intentions by choosing to allow our generosity to flow from the love of God.

In Matthew 25: 35-36,40 (NLT). Jesus said, “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

The End

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Member Comments
Member Date
Colin Swann04/25/11
Very challenging devotional story - keep writing!
Phee Paradise 04/26/11
Good message. You had a few sentence fragments that made reading a little choppy, but the story was good. Jacob's dilemma got my attention and prepared me for the lesson at the end.