Monday, November 25, 2013

COWBOY BOOTS by Gary Wilkerson

“Whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6, ESV).

Several years ago I was serving as an assistant pastor at Times Square Church in New York City. Previously, while living in Texas, I had bought a pair of genuine Texas cowboy boots—and they were fine boots! I was wearing them in my office when a homeless guy walked in. He had been drifting and hitchhiking across the country and he had an attitude.

“I don’t know why I’m here,” he said. “All you churches are the same. You spend your money on buildings and you rich pastors have all these cars and stuff.”

Then he looked down and said, “Look at you. You have those nice cowboy boots and I have these torn up, old canvas shoes.”

“Do you like these boots?” I asked. And before he could answer, I didn’t even think twice. I just took off my boots and gave them to him—and then I walked home without any shoes.

About six months later I received a phone call from a friend who pastors in Greensboro, North Carolina. “Gary,” he said, “you’re not going to believe this. I have a guy sitting here in my office who says that six months ago you gave him a pair of cowboy boots. He can’t forget you or your church. He has been hitchhiking around the country for six months and while he walks, he keeps looking at those boots and thinking about the love of Jesus.”

This man walked into my friend’s church and said, “Hey, this pastor in New York City gave me these cowboy boots. I went to a church called Times Square Church and he was one of the assistant pastors.”

Steve asked, “Was his name Gary?”

“Yeah, that’s the guy. His name was Gary.”

My friend Steve said to the man, “Well, for six months the Holy Spirit has been after you. Are you ready to give your life to Christ?”

The man responded, “That’s why I’m here. I came into this church to give my life to Jesus today.”

I want to encourage you—even if you feel like you’re in a famine—look for opportunities. Are you in a famine in your marriage? Look for an opportunity to serve, to love, to bless your spouse. Are you in a famine with your children? Is there division and turmoil? Look for an opportunity to love, to serve, to order your household according to the ways of the Lord.

Do you have financial difficulties? Look for a way to be a blessing to others in the midst of the famine and you will find the windows of heaven open. God will pour out rich blessings on your life.