By Don Martin
Many years ago I remember Rev. S.G. Norris telling about when he and his family moved from Ohio to St. Paul, MN in 1934. He had been a successful National Cash Register salesman. However, when he took the Midway Tabernacle Church, 464 Pierce Street, St. Paul, MN, his family of five children had to live on the platform of the church. They would pull a curtain across the front of the platform and this made their home site. He even commented he left his Ohio tags on his car for as long as he could because he was not sure if he would stay. They had had fourteen Pastors before him!
The thing that stood out to me was when he was told about the job situation of a majority of the men in the church. They came with bad news to the new Pastor. The company could not pay actual cash because of hard times after the Depression. Rev. Norris went and talked to the company officials and directed his men after much prayer to continue working there even at the expense of him not receiving any cash tithes but “stock” tithes. Their wives had to get extra jobs washing, cleaning houses, etc. so they could have essential needs met. However, this early investment proved to be very successful to the future of Midway Tabernacle and Apostolic Bible Institute founded in 1937.
The fledging company was none other than Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining – 3M. This primary stock in the 3M Company they made in these early days made many of these men well off financially for the rest of their lives. One of the elders told me, I was just a janitor but my Pastor’s advice has made me a millionaire. That decision has impacted the world. Many in ministry of the UPCI were and are impacted by the ministry of Apostolic Bible Institute. WOW! What a story of sowing and reaping in faith!
Each one of us are investing for a Life Paycheck. It comes after we finish the job of this life. The Scriptures so ably admonishes, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) There are Life Wage Paychecks given to every man. What are you investing in?
Our Lord directs each of us, “…teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Ps 90:11) When I see the men and women of the United Pentecostal Church International who have decided to invest their lives in the Work of the Lord and around the world, I hear this, “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30) God will reward your “sowing” into His Kingdom. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6:38)
Your checkbook/bank account tells the story. Are your expenditures all about you? Do you consider your local assembly’s needs, the Oklahoma District, the UPCI and the ministry of Global Missions? This passage will come to pass, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:7-8)
Thanks to all of the faithful ministers and saints who support the Work of the Lord in their world and around the world. May God bless you according to your giving.
The above article, “What Are You Investing In?” is written by Don Martin. The article was excerpted from Forward Magazine.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.