An Appointment with God

August 16, 2009

James A. Garfield was the only president of the United States that was a member of the Lord’s church.  He was also the only president who was a preacher of the gospel.  Even though his tenure as president was cut short due to his assassination, he did some amazing things.  After his inauguration, a member of his cabinet insisted that a meeting be called at 10am on Sunday to handle a matter he felt threatened our country’s national security.  President Garfield refused on the grounds that he had another appointment.  The cabinet member then insisted that the national matter was of such importance that the president should break the engagement.  
 
Garfield refused.  The cabinet member remarked, “I would be interested to know with whom you could have an engagement so important that it cannot be broken.”  Garfield replied, “I will be as frank as you are.  My engagement is with the Lord, to meet him at his house and at his table at 10:30am, and I will be there.”
 
Garfield knew very well the text “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  According to history, the president usually sat by a window during the services in the church.  It was here that the assassin planned to shoot him, but his ploy failed that time.  He later shot the beloved president in a railroad station.
 
Hebrews 10:25 tells us, “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near”  (NASB).  What’s more important on the Lord’s Day than to worship God with His children through praying, singing, reading scripture, and partaking of the Lords Supper.  Acts 20:7 states, “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to leave the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight.”  In addition to partaking of the Lords Supper with our fellow Christians, we are commanded to “give of our means.”  In I Cor. 16:1-2, the peerless apostle Paul stated, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also.  On the first day of the week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.”   Since I brought up the command to “lay by and store,” I’m reminded of a timely and excellent article recently that read something like this:
 
WHAT A HORRIBLE DREAM!

I dreamed that the Lord took my weekly contribution of $50 to the church, multiplied it by ten, and turned this amount into my weekly income. In no time, I lost my $750,000 house, expensive furniture, and my Lexus, Mercedes, and BMW.  Why, I couldn’t even make a mortgage payment.  What can a person do on $500 a week with that kind of lifestyle?
 
Suppose the Lord took your offering and multiplied it by ten and made that your weekly income?  How much would you earn?  This question might give you some fresh insights into the stewardship needs of our congregation.  There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but when you sacrifice your weekly contribution for “non-essential” things, and give the Lord your “left-overs”, it’s time to repent and start giving back to the Lord.   Something to think about……….

–Phil Barnes

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