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We’ve all been at that point where your car is beginning to show some wear and tear. A few minor things might need to be fixed and it seems like it might be easier to just get a new car.

I mean, you’ve earned it right? You work hard for a living and support your family, so adding a car payment on top of an already tight budget is possible, and it would be nice to have those heated seats in this cold weather. You could do it and still live within your means, so it wouldn’t be an immoral decision. But I want you to consider something first.

Have you ever thought about saving money as a way to serve God? Not saving simply for the sake of preparing for upcoming needs like a new washing machine or medical bills. That is always a wise choice. I’m talking about saving, so that when a need arises that would benefit the Kingdom you can give generously without trying to figure out how to pay for it later.

There have been many times when I have heard of a single mother whose car has broken down, or they have a leak in their roof that needs to be fixed before the damage just gets worse, and I find myself wishing that I could help out.

We tend to think that someone else will help, that they will eventually find a way, and we dismiss it and go on with our lives. From experience, I can tell you, often times they have no solution, and it doesn’t work out on its own unless someone steps in to help.

Recently our small little church came across such a need. An elderly woman had been sleeping outside of her single wide trailer because black mold had taken over her home. She never asked for help, but the city said it wasn’t safe or legal to live permanently in a homemade shelter, especially with the cold weather that was on the way.

Her dilemma was posted on social media and lots of people prayed for her and said they hope it works out. As appreciated as those prayers were she was still sleeping outside. I brought this need before the church, and people were quick to help. The church leadership quickly gave me the resources to go and buy her a new trailer so that she could have a warm home this winter. They did it without voting or having to raise funds on a Sunday for months until we had enough. No, they were able to do it because they had set aside money for emergency ministry opportunities.

This set a great example for me, and I know I can’t always ask the church to do what I am capable of doing. I might not be able to set aside enough to buy a trailer, but I can set aside enough each week to buy a meal for someone. And as time goes by, I hope the money I set aside apart from my tithe and regular budgeting can help someone in their time of need.

This has several benefits, first it helps us stay “Kingdom-minded” on how we budget and spend our money. The things God has blessed us with are meant to be a blessing to others as well.

Secondly, it makes ministry more personal than just writing a check and letting the others do the rest of the work. There is nothing wrong with simply writing a check sometimes, but there is something special that happens when we get our hands dirty and invest in the lives of someone who is in our own social circle.

And lastly it sets the example for my kids that, as Christians, we all carry the responsibility of showing others what the Kingdom of God looks like.