As 2013 began, Wes and Brenda Jackson thought they would have to cut back on their giving — and then MISSION 1:8 launched. Not to their surprise, God provided exceedingly above their expectations in the months ahead. Here's the story of how they've seen God at work:
Early in 2013, we knew we had major changes coming in our small company, of which I am part owner. My business partner announced he was retiring at the end of the year, and with a new partner coming in, along with his associated salary and benefits costs, our personal income was going to be significantly lower than previous years.
I distinctly remember thinking and saying to my wife that we were going to have to cut back in our charitable giving as a result. It wasn’t that we wanted to — we just saw it as necessary and that it would only be in proportion to the expected drop in our income.
Of course, in God’s timing, Pastor Gregg rolled out MISSION 1:8 to the church only a week or two after my “proclamation.” Every member was challenged to grow in their giving for the expanded mission work of sharing the good news with Houston, the United States, and the world. That is, for each of us to move up a rung on the ladder of giving to the Lord.
We prayed about our decision, and we felt like we were being led to be obedient to Pastor’s call to move up a rung on the ladder with the rest of the church. We made the pledge to do so and fulfilled it soon after.
The real message here is not about us being obedient, but about God, His faithfulness, and what He has done since we made the commitment. I will boast only in the Lord our God, not in anything that we have done. In spite of the expected lower income for 2013, the year actually turned out to have been the best year our company has EVER had — by far! It was exceedingly and abundantly above what I would have ever imagined.
Every time our family has made a special commitment or gift to the Lord, He has multiplied it and given it back, “pressed down and shaken.” We can say with certainty — and not really by faith anymore because we have come to know it — that you cannot outgive God. Not even close!