Joyful Generosity

[gn_quote style=”1″]The colt owner is a marvelous example of a heart tuned to God. All he needed to hear was that the Lord has need of it.[/gn_quote]

generouys[gn_dropcap style=”1″ size=”4″]O[/gn_dropcap]ne of the greatest stories of joyful generosity comes from Luke, Chapter 19 beginning at the 28th verse.

“And after Jesus had said this he went on ahead going up to Jerusalem. As he approached that Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives he sent two disciples saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you and as you enter it you will find a colt tied there which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you why are you untying it? Tell them, “The Lord needs it.” Those who were sent ahead found it just as he had told them and as they were untying the colt its owner asked them. “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

Jesus sends his disciples ahead of him. He tells them they are going to find a colt tied up in front of a certain person’s house. They are to go up, untie it the colt and bring it Jesus. He also tells them that if anybody comes out and asks them what they are doing they are to say, “the Lord has need of it.”

So they go into Jerusalem. We know from biblical history of the time that a colt was a very prized possession, one of the most valued possessions a household could own. It served as transportation. It pulled a plow and cultivated the fields. It carried items to market. In short, this young colt was going to play a major role in the health and the future of this family.

So these disciples come along and find the colt as Jesus had said and, as they were instructed, they start untying it and leading it away in broad daylight. Scripture says that the owner sees all of this and his response is a simple question, “why are you untying that colt?” I don’t think that’s what he actually said. I think he likely picked up a stick, and came running out at them yelling in anger at the top of his lungs, “why are you untying that colt?!#%&!?”

The disciples turned and all they said in response to the man’s protest was what Jesus had instructed them to say, “the Lord has need of it.” The Lord has need of it. We assume that the owner of the colt knew who “the Lord” was and that the Lord was his Lord, too. And, as a result, that is all the owner needed to hear. What a response of faith! The owner of that precious colt did not need a direct mail fundraising letter. The disciples did not take out a brochure and say, “well, this colt is part of the Triumphal Entry Campaign. As you’ll see here by our table of gifts we need five contributions at the ‘colt level’ and we are hoping you would consider giving one of those today.” They offered no plaque on the walls of Jerusalem. No seat next to Jesus at the major donor banquet.

“The Lord has need of it.” That is all they said to this angry man brandishing a stick. And we know that the man just let it go. That is a marvelous picture of a heart tuned to God. All he needed to hear was that the Lord has need of it. Imagine what it must have been like for that man in a few short hours to see the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords riding triumphantly into Jerusalem on his own colt.

That is a great example of a One-Kingdom person giving for the right reason and seeing what God can do with it. My prayer is that in working with our donors we can help them be One-Kingdom people. Our life’s work, then, is simply telling God’s people about great opportunities we represent to invest in the work of the kingdom. We ask them to search their heart and ask themselves if God is saying to them, “I need you to share what I have given you that this work may be complete.” And we pray and trust that they will respond obediently, which, in Kingdom terms, always means abundantly and joyfully.

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