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What is our response to amazing faith?

By AL EARLEY

Religion columnist 

The Oklahoma cattle rancher couldn’t believe all the add-on expenses when he bought his new car. When the car dealer wanted to buy a cow, the farmer gave him the following invoice: Basic Cow $200, 2-Tone Exterior $45, Extra Stomach $75, Product Storage Compartment $60, Dispensing Unit 4 Spigots $10, Genuine Cow Hide Upholstery $125, Dual Horns $15, Automatic Fly Swatter $65, Total $595.00. At the bottom or the invoice, he wrote, “Good deal on a cow with lots of options.”

We read in I Tim. 6:10 ,”For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil…” The love of money leads to all kinds of evil. I know this as well as anyone. I’d love to have more money. Today, I read that the Mega Millions jackpot is at $1.6 billion and growing by $600,000 million each day. Of course, the chance of winning is not very good, so investment counselors will tell you it is not a very good investment. I have refrained from buying a ticket, but it is intriguing to think about all that money coming into my bank account. 

Then I read about George Muller. Every Christian who dreams of winning the lottery should probably be familiar with George Muller (see georgemuller.org for lots of stories and quotes). Mr. Muller was a Christian evangelist and the director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England in the 1800’s. When Mr. Muller was converted to Christ, he was impressed by the many recurring statements of Jesus for us “to ask.” For example, in Matthew 7:7-8 Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” 

When you read Jesus’ words “to ask” what comes to your mind?  At this point in Mr. Muller’s life he and his wife launched into a daring experiment. First, they gave away all of their household goods. The next step was even more daring: He refused all regular salary from the small mission he had been serving. He then set out to establish an orphan home to care for the homeless children of England.

The first home was dedicated in a rented building on April 21, 1836. Within a matter of days, 43 orphans were being cared for. Muller and his co-workers decided their experiment would be set up with the following guidelines: 1 — no funds would ever be solicited; 2 — no debts were ever to be incurred; 3 — no money contributed for a specific purpose would ever be used for any other purpose; 4 — all accounts would be audited annually; 5 — No ego-pandering by the publication of donor’s names; 6 — no “names” of prominent people would be sought for the board or to advertise the institution. 7 — the success of the orphanage would be measured not by the numbers served or by the amount of money taken in, but by God’s blessing on the work, which Muller expected to be in direct proportion to the time spent in prayer. 

When the first building was constructed, Muller and his friends remained true to their convictions. The public was amazed when a second building was opened six months after the first. They kept concentrating on prayer and eventually there were five new buildings, 110 workers and 2,050 orphans being cared for.

George Muller not only counted on God to provide, but he believed that God would provide abundantly. For over 60 years, Muller recorded every specific prayer request and the results with as many as 50,000 answered prayers noted. Muller was responsible for the care of 9,500 orphans during his life. These children never went without a meal. He established 117 schools, which offered Christian education to more than 120,000 children.  Muller never asked for help from anyone but God. $7,500,000 came to him over the course of his life and he vows it was all in answer to believing prayer. (Adapted from the sermon, “The Deal of the Century” by Steve Shepherd, sermoncentral.com).

I hope you will share this article with a Bible study, Sunday school class, your spouse, and your family and ask this question, “When I read about such faith, what should be my response?” Don’t feel guilty. Instead, see if there is one thing you will do different in living out your faith.

To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, visit www.lagrangepres.com.