By Pastor Pam Seebach
Harmony, Mabel, and Newburg United Methodist Churches
Every day when I retrieve the mail from our mailbox there are at least a couple of requests for charitable donations. Organizations around the country need (NEED!) my money. They need me to help protect the children, the trees, the birds, the animals. Other organizations want me to support their political candidate, or their crucial cause. If I gave in response to each one of these requests, I would be giving all I have. Do I really want to give it all away? Do these entities deserve my all?
I came across an old hymn by Mary D. James this week called “All for Jesus.” Now THERE’S a cause which sounds worthy! Here’s how the first verse goes: “All for Jesus, all for Jesus! All my being’s ransomed powers: All my thoughts and words and doings, All my days and all my hours: All for Jesus!” (“Then Sings My Soul: 150 of the World’s Greatest Hymns Stories” by Robert J. Morgan) The chorus repeats this message, emphasizing that our thoughts, words, and deeds all should be directed toward Jesus. This hymn echoes the instructions in the Bible which tell us we “must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, quoted in Luke 10:27)
Our lives here on earth are a gift from God, given so that we can serve God. Everything we need comes from God, and we return it all to God in our work and our interactions with other people and the environment. This is not a burden, friends, this is an opportunity! Working with God we are not alone; working with God we are empowered; working with and for God we make a positive difference in the world. The last verse of the hymn quoted above exclaims: “O what wonder! How amazing! Jesus, glorious King of kings. Deigns to call me His beloved, lets me rest beneath His wings.” We give our all to Jesus, Jesus guides, protects, and strengthens us.
God’s donation requests don’t come in envelopes or emails; God’s giving opportunities come straight to our hearts. I may not trust all those charitable organizations contacting me, but I know I can trust God! Give your all to Jesus. You won’t regret it!