Something about the hand that garnished the attention of the biblical writers. God’s hand; the hand of man; the hand of pharaoh and that of the enemy are all descriptive terms. Elijah’s promised vision came when he saw a cloud the size of a man’s hand rise from the sea. The hands of people are described by the aged novelist as healing or hurting. This appendage with 27 bones, not including the sesamoid bone, is the means by which we eat, write, work, and so much more. Hands are critical to both the physical and spiritual body.
Nevertheless, of all of the analogies offered, few compare to the Open Hand. It’s the giving hand; the helping hand. It denotes an intentional action by people among people. Our hands are not large enough to hold both judgment and mercy. Neither can we give and withhold at the same time. As one man said: A closed fist cannot both give and receive. It is one or the other.
Paul wrote about an open hand of giving when he raised money to help the struggling church in Jerusalem. He used significant portions of scripture to do so: 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15, Romans 15:14-32. It was a missions offering. It was a time of sacrificial giving that required the Open Hand of the church. I say that New Life is that church.
Our state population is about 6 1/2 million and we are desperate to reach them. There are roughly 7 billion people worldwide that need to hear the Gospel. Not only do we want to flood our city with the message of Acts 2:38, we also want the whole world to know that they too must be born again of the water and the Spirit (John 3).
I know what I’m up against. I’m up against religious charlatans that have misused faith offerings and seed offerings for their own sake. I’m up against fake preachers and prosperity doctrines, which are really false doctrines, that boast of vain endeavors. Nevertheless, I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to call on the church to give to reach the world. We must do what we can, while we can, to support every cause for the sake of Jesus Christ.
I believe that if we will support ministries beyond our walls, God will grant us the desires of our heart for our families and for our church. Our revival may very well hinge on what we do for the sake of missions. The financial seeds planted abroad may be the harvest in our own city. It is after all, Kingdom giving.
Matthew 6:33 “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole