Can’t wait. At 3:30 this afternoon I will finally donate a bag of blood. I like giving blood. I like the whole process. Especially the free cookies and pizza at the end.
It’s been a long year of not giving blood. Because I was part of the RoG mission team that went to Dominican Republic last August, I was disqualified from giving blood for a whole year. Something about being in rural areas susceptible to malaria and other exotic diseases. Evidently, since I’ve survived a year without an “outbreak” I’m good to give.
My blood type is B-positive, because I like to Be Positive. Actually, I had nothing to do with choosing my blood type. It was a given! Being generous is something children of God learn, because our Father is so generous.
Whether giving blood, donating to Open Hands Resource Center (or other noteworthy charities), giving your tithe to the work of Jesus’ church, or using your home as a place of hospitality, we who follow Jesus learn the ways of generosity. Simple acts like sharing veggies from your garden, or more complex decisions like writing a charity check with lots of zeros can point to a changed heart. Jesus makes disciples generous people.
Perhaps you can’t give blood. But Jesus is likely urging you to give something.
Here is what I’ve just seen God do in the past few days.
1. Multiple leaders in our church quietly confess sins in appropriate settings. This is beautiful! (If you think leaders don’t sin, you’re living in some sort of fantasy land). Its a clear sign that we have leaders who get their desperate condition and beleive the teaching of Jesus about confessing faults one to another.
2. Ministry teams making audacious plans. If half of these plans work out, wow, God will be honored, and the RoG family really, really blessed! The drive and effort of these people is inspiring.
3. God answering major prayers about health and finance. Some of these are somewhat confidential, but let me assure you, the people on the receiving end are “jump’n happy”!
4. The projector we use each Sunday died in the middle of last weeks service. By Monday $1100 had been pledged to replace it, and a free high-end “loaner” had been offered. This small occurance is one of those “God favors us” moments!
So I’m pondering a particular day in the life of Jesus. He said “My Father is working until now, and I am working” (John 5:17). The context emphasizes that God is not taking time off this summer. He is at work. He is at work around us. He is not stopping.
Later in this passage, Jesus says twice, “I can do nothing on my own” (19,30). Do we actually think we can do anything on our own? Or like Jesus, are we leaning heavily upon the Father?
Finally, Jesus says, “you refuse to come to me that you may have life” (40). Those who are most alive, are always moving toward Jesus, for they find in Him life.
I put all this together and I conclude that a bunch of my River of Grace family are coming to Jesus on a regular basis because they can’t do anything on their own. In so doing, they are joining the Father in the work he is doing, and the Father is answering their prayers!
I do see God working all around us!