Some of Doc's Rants and Raves:

"Chicken Change" Welcome Here


In a service I attended, the guest speaker was encouraging certain members of the congregation to bring a special offering to the church on the following Sunday. As he piled money on the pastor's head, he told them to bring substantial offerings, not “chicken change.” One would assume the "big gifts" were needed because at the same time he had "prophesied" that the pastor's wife would go on a spending spree to Paris and London. One can't go shopping in Paris with "chicken change."

I can’t imagine the Lord Jesus Christ standing with a pile of cash on his head. In fact, I can't imagine Him taking an offering like that or even allowing one to be taken. In fact, He seemed to be the most impressed with what we would call “chicken change.”

In Luke 21, the gospel records the story of a poor widow woman who gave two mites in the temple offering. Two mites were just “chicken change.” Although there is not universal agreement on how much a “mite” was worth, all are agreed that it was the least valuable of coins. A mite could be compared to today’s copper penny. The penny has become so valueless, that you see them laying in the street and people will not stop to pick them up. What a small offering--chicken change. Yet Jesus watched the wealthy bring their impressive offerings, but he wasn't impressed. The widow's “chicken change” caught his attention. Looking at His disciples and hoping to teach them a lesson that many today could learn, He said, “. . . this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.” Wow! The way God counted the offering, the smallest gift was the largest. Why? Because she gave all she had.

Those who are only looking for big offerings have forgotten that little is much when God is in it. A small boy’s lunch can feed five thousand when it is blessed by God’s hand. One little cake given to a prophet can open a storehouse of supply that will sustain a family through a famine. One smooth stone is worth more than all of a giant’s weapons and armor, if God’s hand is on the stone.

Years ago I read a remarkable story from a missionary to Africa. He told of a time when he asked his tribal congregation to bring a “harvest offering” to the Lord. One woman in the group was a leper. She was ugly, disfigured and despised, but God loved her and she had found glorious salvation. This leper woman wanted to bring an offering to God but she had nothing to give. Although part of her limbs had been devoured by the disease, she walked to a nearby village where the peanuts had been harvested. She begged the authorities to allow her to go into the already-harvested fields. After a humiliating appeal, she was allowed to go.

This poor woman dug in the ground with her hands that were disfigured and dismembered by leprosy. Her hands bled into the soil until she could not use them anymore. Then, she dug with the stubs of her feet. From all of her painful labors, she harvested no more than a cup full of peanuts to bring to God.

When the time came for the harvest offering she was bringing her meager gift to the altar when someone bumped her and she dropped her peanuts in the floor. When this happened, the missionary watched her drop to the ground and try to salvage her offering. He said at that moment God spoke to him and said, “That is the biggest offering you have ever seen or ever will see.”

“What?” he questioned God. He had been very successful in raising funds for the work and had seen some mighty large offerings. This was alone a handful of peanuts. But ,when he heard the story of sacrifice, he knew it was true--this was the largest offering he had ever seen. A few peanuts in the hands of a leper. Chicken change? I don’t think so.

Of course we can use some substantial offerings at River of Revival Ministries--but chicken change is always welcome here.

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