April 11, 2019 was a remarkable day in the history of 100 Shares Tampa Bay. We gave away $120,930 in the form of grants, this time, not just to one ministry as we have always done before, but to three amazing ministries working right here in our area. Florida 1.27, Florida Dream Center, and Shepherd's Village do good in the name of Jesus for foster children, sex trafficking victims, single moms and their children, people often overlooked – the ones Jesus called "the least of these." The people who serve in these ministries are heroes. But on April 11th, every one of us who is a partner in 100 Shares was privileged to come alongside those heroes and give them an infusion of hope and encouragement as we honored them with our gifts and our faith in the value of their work.
What a privilege! What a joy! We echo the psalmist from Psalm 115: "Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to Your name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness." Surely we can only feel as King David did when he and God's people had gathered their gifts for the building of the temple, and David praised God, saying, "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand." (1 Chronicles 29:14)
And that's how I'm feeling now – who are we that we should be able to give almost $121,000? But God did it by bringing us together as partners, united in the desire to return a small portion of the bountiful blessings He has poured out on each of us. We get to know some of the blessing Paul spoke of to the Corinthians in the 9thchapter of his second letter to them, "You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and…your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God." Giving those checks, we understood the words of Jesus which Paul quoted in Acts 20:35, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
So I am left with a feeling of humility – that my small gift should be able to accomplish such great work – and a heart overflowing with praise to the One Who owns "the cattle on a thousand hills," and says "the world is Mine, and all that is in it," in Psalm 50, the One Who "will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help." (Psalm 72) He calls us to "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves," to "defend the rights of the poor and needy" in Proverbs 31:8-9. Our great God is concerned with "the least of these" and He calls us to be people who reach out to help in His name.
100 Shares Tampa Bay is now over 100 partners strong and still growing. What blessings does God have planned for us in the coming year? What amazing ministries will we be allowed to pour a blessing on from the generous gifts God has poured out on us? What a privilege! What a joy! Surely we want everyone to experience this! Spread the word!