This is a story about a nine-year-old boy who lived in a rural town in Tennessee.
His house was in a poor area of the community. A nearby church had a bus ministry, and the bus pastor came knocking on the door of the boy's house one Saturday afternoon.
The boy came to answer the door and greeted the bus pastor. When asked if his parents were home, the small boy told him that his parents took off every weekend and left him at home to take care of his little brother. The bus pastor couldn't believe what the boy said and asked him to repeat it. The youngster gave the same answer. 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 boy, "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 the answer.
Then the bus pastor said, "Well, son, more important than going to church, have you ever heard the greatest love story ever told?”
He then proceeded to share the Gospel with this little nine year old boy. The young lad's heart began to be softened, and at the end of telling the story, the bus pastor asked if the boy wanted to receive this free gift from God. The youngster exclaimed, "You bet!" The boy 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 him and his brother 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, made his way through the house and found the boys still asleep in bed. He woke them up and helped them get dressed.
They got on the bus and ate a donut for breakfast as they drove to the church. Keep in mind that these boys had never been to church before, and this church was a real big one. The little kids just sat there, clueless of what was going on.
A few minutes into the service, the older boy watched as some stern and unsmiling tall men walked down to the front and picked up some wooden plates. One of the men prayed and the young boy, 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 him what was taking place—the 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 being passed on down the aisle. He turned around to watch it being passed down the aisle behind him. And then his eyes remained glued on the plate as it was passed 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!"
- Author Unknown -
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21 NLT
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Romans 12:1 NLT
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4 NIV