The story is told of a farmer who happily reported to his wife and children that their best cow had given birth to twin calves, one brown - one white. He said that he was so grateful that he had decided to dedicate one to the Lord. "We will bring them up together and when the time comes, we will sell them. The proceeds from the sale of one, we will keep; the proceeds from the sale of the other, we will give to the church in support of the Lord's work." "But which one is the Lord's?" asked his wife. "There's no need to bother with that now. We will raise them the same way until they are ready for market." A few months later, the farmer came home distraught. "What's wrong?" asked his wife. "The Lord's calf died this morning," he replied. "But I thought you hadn't determined which one was the Lord's." she said. "Oh yes, I decided a while ago that the white one was the Lord's, and that is the one that died this morning."*
Yet, don't we often do the same thing? We make promises to the Lord - to be faithful stewards of our time, money and talents - and yet, when the chips are down - the bills are due - you are asked to participate on a program for the church - all of a sudden, "the calf is dead." My girlfriend Victoria and I were just discussing this very thing this past weekend. Being fiscally responsible in this day and age of rising food and gas prices and still being faithful with tithes and offerings to the church is a challenge. And the enemy often times tries to convince us that "God will understand - He knows you need to pay your bills, meet your responsibilities - the work of the church has been going on for years - it can continue without your weekly/bi-monthly/monthly contribution - you can always catch up later..." Yeah, right. That never happens.
I am so glad that God doesn't treat me as cavalierly as I treat Him more often than I wish. I am glad that He remains faithful to me even through my unfaithfulness. I pray constantly for more faith, more trust, more dependence on Him (which if you know me, is a daily struggle!)
Let's strive to be more diligent in honoring our commitments to the Lord. I'll pray for you to that end and solicit your prayers on my behalf as well.
Prayer request: God's mercy as Hurricane Ike approaches the Texas coast over the weekend.
*Story of the Lord's calf excerpted from WALKING WITH JESUS ON THE MOUNT OF BLESSING by George R. Knight, published as a morning devotional book in 1996.