Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Can’t Out Give God

By Allen White

Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?”

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
Matthew 19:27-30

It’s easier to make an investment than a sacrifice. A sacrifice seems like your just giving up something valuable in return for who knows what. On an investment, you expect a return, even if it’s only 0.89% these days.

We invest time in our children, so they grow up to make good decisions. We invest money to send them to college and put a roof over their heads. At times, it might feel like a sacrifice, but it’s an investment.

Many believers have given generously or have even foregone lucrative opportunities in order to serve God and build His Kingdom on this earth. Sure you might not be driving the nicest car or living in the biggest house, but according to Jesus’ words to His disciples, our reward is eternal life and, oh, 100 times our investment.

Let’s think about that. As I talked about Bible numbers  a few days ago, when Jesus says 100 times, He doesn’t just mean that if you give $10, you’ll get $1,000 in return. In Bible times, the number ten symbolized an infinite multiplier. So, what does 10 tens or 100 times mean? It’s an incredible return. But, this is about more than money.

Most of Jesus’ disciples didn’t have much money to contribute. In fact, with Judas Iscariot helping himself to the treasury, financially, they were moving in the wrong direction. But, they gave of themselves. They devoted themselves to follow Jesus and trusted that He would supply their needs. And, He did.

After Pentecost, when Peter and John encountered a lame man begging for money, they didn’t have money to give him (Acts 3:1-10). But, what they could give him was a miracle by the power of God. The man simply wanted to feed himself. God, through Peter and John, gave the man something money couldn’t buy – his fully restored health.

God wants to use you. How have you let God use you? What God wants to do in your life is only limited by your willingness to surrender to Him. How do I know that? Because the biggest obstacle in my life is me.

But, when I’ve said, “Lord, here I am. Use me.” He has in remarkable ways. I know what you’re thinking, “But, Allen, you’re a pastor. God uses pastors differently than other people.” I wouldn’t be a pastor if I hadn’t surrendered myself to God, now would I?

God isn’t necessarily going to call you to be on staff at a church. But, God is calling you to full-time ministry. Your ministry might take place in an office or a factory or a school or a neighborhood. Your ministry might not come with a paycheck, but God will provide for all of your needs.

God doesn’t want your faith to be tied to the S&P 500. God wants you to trust deeply in Him. He will provide for all of your needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19). I know that’s true.

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1 comment:

  1. "Compassion needn't cost anything more than the price one pays for learning how to give unconditionally." R.J. Fico