My friend John is a business owner and fellow Christian. Both his parents are righteous devoted missionaries traveling the world spreading God’s word. John is not only bible savvy, he’s a solid witness himself.
Earlier this week during a conversation, John said something that struck me. “God blesses me with skills so I can make money, then I use this money to serve Him. My parents don’t work or have a retirement plan so I have to foot the bill for their missionary work.”
I found his explanation shocking. The fact John feels he has to work 12 hour days sometimes 7 days a week to support his parents’ ministry left me puzzled. He added “I don’t feel God calling me to do ministry work or preach from a pulpit, plus quite frankly, I couldn’t afford to go into full time ministry right now”.
This last statement troubled me considering John is one of the most biblically knowledgeable person I know. I find it greatly unfortunate he is more concerned with catering to the secular world than caring for it. His work and mentality clearly goes against the word of God.
Jesus told His disciples in Luke’s gospel “Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Luke 12:33-34)
Asking His followers to give up their possessions, Jesus strives to change people’s focus. Much like my friend John, too many of us are driven to acquire financial independence in an effort to then achieve goals otherwise unattainable. Caught in a never ending loop, we work so that we may enjoy life rather than enjoy life through our work.
Jesus’ message is clear. “ 17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.’ 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. You lack one thing; go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)
So why isn’t every Christian selling his or her possessions and giving to the poor and following in Jesus’ footsteps? Because we are weak and confrontational. Because we like our material things. Because we don’t trust our faith or worse yet, because we don’t trust God.
What John is doing, busy working to provide for his family and afford his parents ministry endeavors can be compared to tithing a church. Giving back ten percent to the Lord through an organization where we are blessed to be a blessing, at least financially.
What I find frustrating about this is the fact many people stop there. With no further involvement with the body of Christ or the church, too many Christians go about their business and assume attending church once or twice a week and tithing means they have answered God’s calling. Such is the case with John.
These people are bound for empty lives too busy trying to fill their wallets. Caught in a race where the trophy is plated with greed, “surface” believers keep trying to reap their heavenly treasures before they give-up their earthly possessions. Basically, they defy God through disobedience.
I pray my friend John will be strengthened to give his life a new purpose. I hope you are busy ministering to those around you spreading the word rather than wasting your life away on financial gain. There are no good reasons to disobey God’s commands for your life, only excuses.
“12 Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. 14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” (Revelation 22:12-14)
Be certain your robe is clean and pleasing to the Lord. I invite you to work less but earn more by making less money on earth while building-up your treasures in heaven. This can easily be achieved through faith in Jesus Christ and in some cases, a little time management. Call on us to help you fulfill God’s mission for your life, if anything through prayer or life coaching. This ministry cares about you and your walk with Jesus.
We thank you for your blessings in our lives
And for allowing us to worship you,
We praise you Lord for all that you provide for us
Each and every day.
God we ask you to forgive our sins
And make us stronger in the days ahead
So that we may become more like you
And strive for perfect lives.
Lord we know what you expect of us
And ask for your strength
So that we may reach toward heaven
And help those around us do the same.
Holy Father we ask you to inspire us
To change our ways and put you first
Rather than continue to drown in denial
And drag us deeper into disobedience.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre