NO MAN’S DEBTOR.
He who gives all to the Lord is no man’s debtor.
Paul lived in a small Indian village, and had only recently become a Christian. Sitting in the village church one Sunday morning, he slipped his hand into his pocket, handling the money. All he possessed was two annas. If he placed this in the offering, there would be nothing left: to buy food or clothing. How could he live without money? All hope of going to Bible school seemed impossible.
Nevertheless, Paul had learned a greater lesson- Jesus Christ has first claim on him as a Christian, even his money. He knew what he should do. The small amount was all he possessed- and he knew it belonged to the Lord. Paul gladly gave all he had. He drew out his small gift and placed it in the offering. He slid his hand back into his pocket, swirled it around, making sure there was nothing. His pocket was empty.
At the end of the service, Paul walked out with his fellow-Christians. Some gathered to talk, while others sauntered off home. Paul’s family would be waiting for him to share the mid-day meal, meagre though it be. However, as he turned away, an elderly gentleman approached him. Although he knew the old man by sight, Paul had never met him, although Paul had often been stirred by his warm, sincere, and mature prayers.
‘I wonder what he wants with me,’ Paul thought.
‘Paul’, he said, as the older man stopped by the younger. ‘I heard you hope to go to Bible School, to prepare to preach to men and women about Jesus Christ.’
‘Yes sir. I am trusting the Lord to help me,’ Paul answered courteously. The old man pulled a small bag out of his pocket, holding it out to Paul.
‘’I want you to have this, Paul,‘ placing the bag in Paul’s hands. Surprised, the young man accepted the bag, hearing the jingle of money.
‘Thank you, sir’ as the gentleman walked away.
Later Paul reached home, and opening the bag was amazed to find a large amount of money. Paul thought back to the small sum of two annas, all that he owned. He was glad he had not held back his simple offering. Oh, how the Lord repaid him. The Lord God is no man’s debtor.
The Lord often tests our devotion to Him by what he challenges us to do for others.
For three years my husband and I , with our family of 6 children, lived in Indonesia. Kind Australian friends back home often sent parcels of food to supplement our diet of Indonesian foods. From these parcels, I often kept back one or two tins of food for special birthday or anniversary celebrations. We were busily working on the children’s Correspondence school lessons one hot, steamy day, when a bus stopping outside our home, dropped two missionary friends.
The children were always glad to be excused from their lessons and enjoy a visit from their missionary ’aunts’ and ’uncles.’ When it came time for lunch, I thought of the tins I had reserved for a special birthday treat. I knew I should share them with my friends. Yet, if I opened them, there would be nothing for a special birthday treat. No-one would know if I withheld the peaches. Back and forth I reasoned.
What should I do? It was such a battle - yet the Lord won.
I opened the tins, sliced the tasty Australian cheese, spooned the luscious apricots and peaches into dishes, and dobbed on the delectable tinned cream. Our missionary ‘aunts’ enjoyed the treat, appreciating and encouraging us.
Next day, my husband returned from his village hospital, carrying a large parcel. The children rushed to greet him, relieving him of the parcel, which they carried inside. While one tore off the paper, another cut the string, while another pulled off the wrapping- and the youngest began to pull out the contents of the parcel. I stood, watching, so amazed, ( and humbled ) to see the contents - tins of cheese, cream, apricots, and peaches. I thought of the preceding day. What if I had kept those tins for ourselves! I would have lost the thrilling miracle of seeing a gracious Lord supply. Surely, HE is no man’s debtor.
When we put the Lord Jesus first, we know He supplies every need. ‘Him that honours ME, I will honour.’
On another occasion, after we had set aside the Lord’s portion from our allowance, buying a little food, and paying accounts, we had no money left. It would have been easy to yield to the temptation to keep the Lord’s portion just to make sure we had money in our purse. The Lord loves a cheerful giver.
That sultry day we travelled to visit missionary friends, where we left our ‘Lord’s portion’ for their missionary work. We drove home through the clear, moonlight night, with the fireflies weaving through the padi fields, with no money left.
Eventually, we drove into our yard, stepped from the car, and walked across to the side door. As there was no light, my husband shone his torch as I pushed the key into the lock, turned the key, unlocking the door, which I pushed open. There were some letters on the floor: two from Australia, two newspapers, a magazine, together with an official letter from our Indonesian office, which we left till last. Inside was a surprise. There was an Office refund of an amount we had overpaid. God had supplied right at the urgent moment of our need. The Lord is no man’s debtor.
Whatever we give to the Lord, HE pours back in a far greater measure than we are able to receive. These experiences taught us never to withhold anything from the Lord. As HIS children, we may trust HIM always to look after us, caring for us even better than we care for our own family. You can never outgive GOD.