One of the natural responses that often bursts forth when someone’s faith increases is the desire to give. Those who are touched by a message of faith often respond by giving back to those who touched them.
When I first put my faith in Christ, I was so moved that I instinctively began to support the church where I was saved. As I began to hear about missionaries who were taking the same message that touched me to others throughout the world, my natural response was to give. I wanted everyone to experience the same thing that I had experienced.
I still do. It’s not that I feel that I have to give. It’s simply the response of my heart to what God is doing in my life. I also
believe that the increased desire to give comes from my increased trust in God; that He will continue to supply all of my needs, even as He uses me to help to supply the needs of others.
Those who were touched by the ministry of the Apostle Paul on the island of Malta had a similar response of giving.
Paul, along with his shipmates, had been shipwrecked on the island. The islanders showed unusual kindness to Paul and the others by building a fire for them because it was raining and cold. When a viper bit Paul on the hand as he threw some brushwood into the fire, the islanders thought Paul must have been guilty of a deadly crime: even though he had escaped from the shipwreck, they thought he would now die from the snakebite. When Paul didn’t die, the islanders changed their minds and thought he was a god!
Even though Paul wasn't a god, God still had work to do through Paul. Paul and the others were invited into the home of Publius, a chief official of the island. When Paul found out that Publius’ father was sick in bed with fever and dysentery, Paul went to see him, “...and after prayer, placed his hands on him and healed him. When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured” (Acts 28:8-9).
While Paul’s faith in Christ allowed him to do many miracles in Jesus’ name, look at the response of faith that took place among the islanders who were touched by these miracles. The very next sentence of the story says:
“They honored us in many ways and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed” (Acts 28:10).
Faith supplies. When God works in powerful ways, people naturally want to respond in kind. They want to give freely to others as others have given freely to them.
In this way, Paul and the crew were able to go onto the next leg of their journey to Rome, where God had told Paul he would have to testify before Caesar. God had provided everything Paul needed to get as far as Malta. When the supplies ran out, God provided still more through the those believers who had just been touched by God through Paul’s ministry.
Supplying the needs of others is a natural response of faith.
Have you been touched in a special way through someone’s ministry? Maybe someone in your local church, which nourishes you and perhaps your family? Maybe someone who has stopped by to pray for you? Maybe someone who has sent you a special gift or card or email or text message when you needed it? Maybe a ministry on the TV, or radio, or even this one on the Internet, that God has used in a special way to reach out to you to help you to increase your faith?
If so--and if God has is causing your faith to well up within you with the desire to give--I encourage you to respond in faith and give. It’s a way to not only help that person or that ministry on the next leg of their journey, it’s a way to let them know that your heart is going with them as well. As Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34).
Father, show me how to respond in faith to those who have touched my life for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
May the Lord bless you always. Please invite others to Sayuni.