From this need and Paul's "collection" we glean several points:
- God allows tremendous economic hardships to try and refine our faith
- God rarely reaches down and grabs one of his cows on one of his thousand hills and takes it to auction or the slaughterhouse to meet our needs (he uses people like me and you)
- God uses people just like you and me as he moves on our heart to help the saints
- In II Corinthians 8 and 9 we are given the guidelines for giving to special needs:
- We are to give according to our means, but not above nor beyond
- If you give sparingly then you will also yourself reap sparingly
- We are to give the amount we determine in our own mind (not someone else's)
- We are to give willingly and under no compulsion of any kind (no emotional manipulation)
- We are to give cheerfully and joyfully
- We are give believing that God who lays on our heart to give will take care of us also
A dear friend of mine from the Living Water Community Church in Vancouver posted today on Facebook that a friend of his in California with small children has had their water shut off and have no money. Their own church can't help as they too have been wiped out by the local economy.
I have already written a check. If God lays on your heart to help - mail your check to Bryan Abeling, 9210 NE 79th Court,Vancouver, WA 98662 and Bryan will see that his friend receives the offering.
If God does not lay it on your heart, so be it. You have opportunities all around you I know and we can't give to all of them. I have just been there myself, with children when the electricity was cut off. I am moved to help.