Last week I got an email from a woman I’ve never met. By this week’s end, you will be able to read her full story on our champions page.
I’d like to share some excerpts from her letter:
“My ‘ring decision’ story probably began about a year and a half ago when, at the ripe old age of 60, I felt compelled to read through the Bible, front to back, non-stop. God used that to make scripture come alive in a way I had never known before. I couldn’t put it down. Some days I would spend 4 to 6 hours reading and reading. I fell in love with Abraham, Moses, David, young John, and single-minded Paul. It all seemed fresh and new.”
“The two things that stood out were (1) that God would not tolerate idolatry and (2) how importantly He took helping the poor. I remember reading Ps. 119:37: ‘Turn your eyes away from worthless things…’ And as I read that, I lifted my eyes and looked at all the little worthless objects I had displayed all over the room – things I loved, but things that now made me ashamed.”
“How could I have spent so much money on this thing or that, when there were children starving in the world?”
“Jesus began to tender our hearts. One day my Charisma Magazine arrived and in it was an article about With This Ring. I looked down at my beautiful wedding ring and said, ‘Oh no, Lord! Not that! Not me!’ But He grabbed my heart and made the sight of my ring unpleasant as it sat on my finger. It suddenly became an idol to me. He told me He didn’t need my ring, but He did need my obedience. In the end, I got a plain gold band, unadorned, and I can’t tell you the joy it brings me to know that it’s being there means children somewhere will not die from drinking unclean water. “
“Thank you for your organization and the wonderful work you are doing for the people in Africa as well as for the ‘donors’ who are able to experience God more intimately through your cause.”
Twyla said is that God did not need her ring, He needed her obedience.
We are all called to be obedient… to listen to the spirit of God…and to act when He speaks! Really – it is that simple! It may not be easy, but it is simple. Those are two very different things.
When God spoke to Esther to go before the King on behalf of her people, she risked her life to do it. But she did it. She may have been scared, but she still honored God with her obedience. God used her obedience to save the entire Jewish people.
He speaks…we act…and God uses our actions for his good will. Just like Twyla, we can either listen, finding relevance in truly serving a Living God, or we can ignore his voice and live a barren life with no real joy or purpose.
I want to be that kind of Christian – like Twyla or Esther. I want to grow and be changed. I want my life to be marked by something more than how much stuff I have. I want God to be pleased with me.
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)
How are you living a life that is pleasing to God? Not to boast but to encourage others, please share your story with us.
Ringless in Christ,
Filed under: Aligned with God's will, Children of the World, Consumerism, Ghana, Giving, Love, Materialism, Need, Obedience, Radical Giving, Random generosity, Rings, Spending Money, Uncategorized, Volunteering, water, Wells | Tagged: africa, beauty, change, clean water, consumerism, Generosity, Generous Kids, Ghana, giving, God's provision, grand gestures, materialism, money, need, radical giving, Rings, spending, teenage spending habits, water, world |