This morning in my prayer time as I was praying, I began to think about something that happened in my life last year. It absolutely amazed me.
As you know, people, our partners, give offerings and donations to this ministry. We have the best partners in the world. This ministry wouldn’t be where it is without them. There are wonderful partners who faithfully give to this ministry enabling us to keep doing what God is leading us to do.
I have stood in faith daily for the past twelve years for monies to come into this ministry. The first few years I paid for it myself. Then people began to give. I can remember praying for the money we needed to come in each week. It was such a relief when we began to have enough for a month at a time – and God has continued to bless. That’s the ministry story, here is mine.
I know some folk may think that if the ministry needs are met, then mine are met – sounds right but I, personally am separate from the ministry – just like you, I work and give and tithe and trust God to meet my personal needs. The ministry does not meet my personal needs, God does. I work for the ministry; I receive a paycheck, just like you. If I have a need beyond my earnings I do just like I teach you to do; I go to God and sow a seed and pray for that need to be met. And that is why what happened last year amazed me as it did.
I believe it was in March; one day I received a check in the mail but not for the ministry, it was for me personally. Now, that is not unheard of, it had happened in my life about once a year since I had been doing ministry full time, but it always surprises me. Then it happened again a few weeks later. Then one more time. Now, I was amazed, this had happened three times in one year – what was God showing me? I knew I sowed seeds all the time but I also knew God was showing me something during that time.
One evening I was listening to a teaching, the man was talking about mission trips and how they honored people in other countries. He said they gave them gifts to show they were honoring them. It jumped in my spirit and I felt the Lord was telling me that this is what has happened with me; these wonderful friends were honoring me for what I had sown into their lives by giving me gifts. I was overwhelmed at God’s goodness and the goodness of the people who had honored me with their gifts.
I was reminded of a time years ago when God began to talk to me and teach me about honor. 1Timothy 5 tells us to honor those who labor in word and doctrine. I went through a season where God dealt with me about honoring those who has sown the word into my life. He had me honor them in many different ways; I would give to the financially or purchase a gift of something I had heard they wanted, I looked for ways to honor these people, I did anything and everything I could to make their life easier. This went on for several months. I knew last evening that God was showing me two things; one that these recent gifts were gifts of honor and two that I was beginning to reap from the season he had begun to teach me about honoring others.
To honor means to estimate the value of, to hold dear, to count someone or something as a great price and to revere.
Just a few days ago I received a note from one of our partners; she wanted to make me a prayer shawl. I was blessed by her offer; it was an offering of honor, just as those financial gifts were an offering of honor. I am reaping where I have sown.
I continue to honor those in my life who teach me, and who speak into my life. I will continue to show honor to people who bring something to my life, it is what God would have me do and it is what I will do. I realize that as I honor them, I am honoring the God in them. And it doesn’t get any better than that.
A friend of mine was offered a salary that was beyond anything she had ever been offered, she was speechless. As she shared the amount with me she said ‘it is just too much.’ As she talked I realized that it wasn’t too much, she was being honored, and her value was being seen. God had caused men to see her value and offer her exactly what she was worth. For years she had sown seeds into this area. She is an accountant and she has sown seeds of free accounting to numerous people – now God was honoring her AND man was honoring her; her harvest had come.
Friends when we sow – we reap – it is a principle of God that will not fail. I am seeing the beginning of a harvest of His goodness in my life – however, it came from being obedient to what He taught me years ago – to honor those who are important in your life. Honor those who speak into your life, honor those who help bring you through rough seasons, honor those who stand by you when no one else will, honor those who continue to speak the word to you even when you don’t want to hear it, honor those to go to God on your behalf and pray until they get an answer – when you do, God will honor you right back and He will cause men and women to honor you.
I don’t know what kind of harvest you want – but this I do know – sow for what you want – plant what you want to reap – it may not come immediately – but it will certainly come – nothing can stop it. Your harvest will spring up – it has been growing all along, God was getting you into the position to receive and it will come…seemingly suddenly from the seeds you have sown all your life. Our God is a good God – His goodness is overwhelming. And the time of honor does come…it truly does.