I give you me

Here is a true story about a nine-year-old boy who lived in a rural town
in Louisiana.  His house was in a poor area of the community.  A church
had a bus ministry that came knocking on his door one Saturday afternoon.
The kid came to answer the door and greeted the bus pastor. The bus pastor
asked if his parents were home and the small boy told him
that his parents take off every weekend and leave him at home to take care
of his little brother.  The bus pastor couldn't believe what the kid said
and asked him to repeat it. The youngster gave the same answer and the bus
pastor asked to come in and talk with him.

They went into the living room and sat down on an old couch with the foam
and springs exposed.  The bus pastor asked the kid, "Where do you go
to church?"

The young boy surprised the visitor by replying, "I've never been to
church in my whole life."

The bus pastor thought to himself about the fact that his church was less
than three miles from the child's house.  "Are you sure you have never
been to church?" he asked again.

"I sure haven't", came his answer.

Then the bus pastor said, "Well, son, more important than going to church,
have you ever heard the greatest love story ever told? "And then he
proceeded to share the Gospel with this little nine-year-old boy.

The young lad's heart began to be tenderized and at the end of the bus
pastor's story the bus pastor asked if the boy wanted to receive this free
gift from God.  The youngster exclaimed, "You Bet!  The kid and the bus
pastor got on their knees and the lad invited Jesus into his little heart
and received the free gift of salvation.  They both stood up and the bus
pastor asked if he could pick the kid up for church the next morning.
"Sure," the nine year old replied.

 The bus pastor got to the house early the next morning and found the
lights off.  He let himself in and snaked his way through the house and
found the little boy asleep in his bed.  He woke up the little boy and his
brother and helped get them dressed.  They got on the bus and ate a donut
for breakfast on their way to church.  Keep in mind that this boy had
never been to church before.  The church was a real big one.

The little kid just sat there, clueless of what was going on.  A few
minutes into the service these tall unhappy guys walked down to the front
and picked up some wooden plates.  One of the men prayed and the kid with
utter fascination watched them walk up and down the aisles. He still
didn't know what was going on. 

All of a sudden like a bolt of lightning it hit the kid what was taking
place.  These people must be giving money to Jesus.  He then reflected on
the free gift of life he had received just twenty-four hours earlier.  He
immediately searched his pockets, front and back, and couldn't find a thing to give Jesus. By this time the offering plate was being passed down his aisle and
with a broken heart he just grabbed the plate and held on to it.  He
finally let go and watched it pass on down the aisle. He turned around to
see it passed down the aisle behind him.  And then his eyes remained glued
on the plate as it was passed back and forth, back and forth all the way
to the rear of the sanctuary. 

Then he had an idea. This little nine-year-old boy, in front of God and
everybody, got up out of his seat.  He walked about eight rows back,
grabbed the usher by the coat and asked to hold the plate one more time.
Then he did the most astounding thing I have ever heard of.  He took the
plate, sat it on the carpeted church floor and stepped into the center of it.

As he stood there, he lifted his little head up and said, "Jesus, I don't
have anything to give you today, but just me.  I give you me!"

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God gives us the gift of faith to share. May we give it to others in the loving spirit in which it was given to us. Sharing is caring.

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