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All of Me

Here is a story, reported to be true, 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 church there had a bus ministry that came knocking
on his door one Saturday afternoon. The child came to answer the door
and greeted the bus pastor. The bus pastor asked if his parents were
home and the small boy told him that his parents take off every weekend
and leave him at home to take care of his little brother. The bus pastor
couldn't believe what the child said and asked him to repeat it. The
youngster gave the same answer and 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 child,
"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'm sure I haven't," came his answer. Then the bus pastor
said, "Well, son, more important than going to
church, have you ever heard the greatest love story ever told?" and
then he proceeded to share the Gospel with this little nine year old boy.

The young lad's heart began to be tenderized and at the end of the
bus pastor's story, the bus pastor asked if the boy wanted to receive
this free gift from God. The youngster exclaimed, "OF COURSE!" The
child 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 the child 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 and snaked his way through the house
and found the little boy asleep in his bed. He woke up the little boy
and his brother and helped get them dressed. They got on the bus and
ate a doughnut for breakfast on their way to church. Keep in mind
that this boy had never been to church before. The church was a real
big one. The little child just sat there, clueless
of what was going on. A few minutes into the service, these tall guys
walked down to the front and picked up some wooden plates. One of the
men prayed and the child, with utter fascination,
watched them walk up and down the aisles. He still didn't know what
was going on.

Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, it hit the child
what was taking place. These 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 pass on down the aisle. He turned
around to see it passed down the aisle behind him. And then his eyes
remained glued on the plate as it was passed back and forth, 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!"


"Neither doctrinal purity nor diligent labor will ever be a substitute for passionate devotion to God."

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