On Friday April 08, 2005 I was at home watching TBN* while going through some scriptures. They were conducting a telethon and Pastor Rod Parsley was preaching and in ministering he was testifying about the principle of sowing and reaping. Interestingly, it was just the week before that I was discussing with a friend about tithing and giving in the kingdom today. I recall saying to her that I think the spirit of tithing has been lost and people are mechanical trying to give by the letter of the ten percent rather than the spirit of giving unto the Lord. In fact, the Lord first blessed us and gave to us and all we are doing is giving back a portion of that which He first gave unto us. However, today we are focused on teaching tithing and giving as a religious duty and as such people do it as an obligation rather than as a fulfillment of a Godly principle.
After listening to Pastor Parsley minister, the Spirit impressed upon me to participate in the telethon. The reality that TBN is able to reach the byways and hedges that I will never be able to go physically came home strongly to me. At the time I had a few bills that I had to pay and so I was a little bit stretched in my finances. However, I knew that I had to sow a seed into this ministry and I had to commit to it now. I turned on the computer and went on the internet to make a pledge on the TBN website. After several attempts, I was still having problems with the site and somehow the computer was not allowing me to get on the site. However, I was still convinced that I had to sow this seed.
I picked up the phone and called the number on the screen. The person answered and I gave them the details and told them I am making a one time pledge of US$100 which would be about JMD*$6,150. I was not totally sure of the funds to cover it but I knew that the Lord would bless me to bless the ministry.
About a week after this commitment was made, a friend of mine called me and asked me if I was okay and I said I was. The conversation continued and my friend asked if I am sure there are no pressing bills that I have to pay. I found this sort of strange but I belated conceded that in fact I had a month outstanding on my car loan, but I was planning to pay it in the month of May. She then told me that she would call me back. Within a few days she called to tell me she would send me the funds to pay the car loan. Within two weeks of that conversation, my friend sent me J$22,000. I thought this was so amazing, only a few weeks before I had committed to TBN $6,150 that I did not have in my hand. A few weeks after, even before I had received the envelope from TBN in which to return the pledge, I had been given $22,000 from which I could easily pay the TBN pledge.
I look back at how the events unfolded and I can only conclude that GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD. He is truly the great JEHOVAH JIREH…the GOD that provides. He is indeed great and greatly to be praised… I am more convinced of the scriptures that remind us…give and it shall be given back unto you. Interestingly, sometimes we testify and boast about the cattle on a thousand hills, yet we give out of a kind of obligatory participation. If the great Jehovah Jireh is to really show forth His glory in our lives, we need to give, not as an obligation or out of religious duty, but as honouring and obeying a Godly principle.
I encourage you to give. Give expecting nothing in return. Give because God has blessed you with the capacity to give. We often say we are not able to give, but unfortunately, sometimes our capacity to give is limited and restricted by our unwillingness to share from it.
TESTIMONY OF THANKSGIVING
By: Stephen Ricketts
Minister Ricketts is a member of the Pentecostal Gospel Temple (Stanbury Grove branch - St. Catherine, Jamaica), serving under the guidance of Pastor Doris McPherson. If you are a local looking for a place to worship contact the H/O Pentecostal Gospel Temple, c/o Bishop Carmen Stewart, 111 Windward Road, Kingston, Jamaica. You can also telephone on 876-928-4614 or send an email to:email@example.com.
___________* TBN - Trinity Broadcasting Network
Copyright 2006 Stephen Ricketts
used by permission