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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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THE LORD HAS NEED OF IT

An elder in the church got up one Sunday and announced to his congregation: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have more than enough money to pay for our new building program. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets." Tucked away in Mark 11:3 is a phrase that addresses our willingness to share. As Jesus prepares to enter Jerusalem less than a week before His death on the cross, He sends two disciples to a village to fetch a donkey colt on which He will ride into Jerusalem from the Mount o f Olives. If anyone objects to them taking the colt, they are to respond, "The Lord has need of it" (11:3). Have you considered the possibility you may have something the Lord needs? At first thought, there would seem to be little we have that the Lord would need. After all, "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein ... every beast of the forest is Mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills" (Psalm 24:1; 50:10). These verses are Old Testament parlance for saying that God owns it all! Nothing we give Him can in any tangible way enrich or enhance His life as the Divine Being.

And yet that phrase rings out: "The Lord has need of it. - To accomplish His ride into Jerusalem, somebody had to let Jesus borrow a donkey. Today that would be paramount to letting Him borrow your car! What do you have that the Lord might need? How about your time? There are 168 hours in the week. What do you do with the 68 hours left over if you sleep 56 of them, work 40 of them and allow a whopping 4 hours for worship assemblies and Bible study? To redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16) we must do more than squander all of it on TV, hobbies and pursuing pleasure. The Lord also needs some of your treasures. Some are quick to point out the New Testament does not require us to give 10% as did the Old Testament. True. But 10% may prove too little in some cases. The New Testament calls each to give "as he may prosper... abound in giving ... give bountifully," and to give based on the example of Jesus who, "though He was rich, yet for your sakes became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich" (I Corinthians 16:2; 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9; 9:6;). Regarding our treasures, God isn't pleased to get what is left. He needs (and deserves) what is right. And then God needs our talents. I Peter 4: 10 teaches, not only that "each one has received a gift," but that we should "minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." The Lord needs your time, talents and treasure. Will you let Him have it?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ