Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
Being on mission with God to bless the world is a pretty awesome thing. Seeing people come to faith in Christ and their need met for eternal salvation is a beautiful thing. Seeing the pain and suffering of people alleviated in helpful ways is wonderfully fulfilling. The participation of God’s people in “missions” endeavors that seek to bless the world is his only game plan. We can do “missions” in our own relationships with people and we can join others in cooperative efforts the do “missions” anywhere in the world.
Doing “mission” has a very practical side called “money.” We have been talking about the proper administration of the material wealth God supplies us and the use of our “money” to do missions is very much a part of that. So, our focus today is on “giving” and that is what today’s passage is all about. We are going to narrow our focus to a “chicken or the egg” type question regarding giving.
What comes first, God’s supply or giving? In other words, is it a matter of gaining an abundant supply from God and then giving or is it giving and then gaining an abundant supply from God as a result. Our passage very clearly talks about both of these things. Read over the passage again and you will see that both of them are talked about, but you will see just as clearly that giving (regardless of your supply) comes first. This leads to God’s abundant supply which allows us to do more giving which to leads to more abundant supply from God.
So, there is a very important question that comes next. Have you become established in this cycle of giving? It all begins with giving regardless of our supply. God really is counting on us to be willing to give as we do “missions” in our own relationships with people and as we join others in cooperative efforts to do “missions.” The difference between us and full-time “missionaries” is not the fullness of participation, but the kind of participation. Missionaries are engaged in taking the Gospel to the world, while we do so in the “world” in which we live our lives.
What does all this mean for us? It means that our responsibility for missions is not fulfilled just by throwing a little money toward cooperative “Mission” endeavors, saying a few prayers for “Missions,” and inviting our friends to church. We must be very careful that we have more than a “token” involvement. With a full investment of ourselves and our money, we need to let God help us do “missions” all the time in our own relationships with people. With a similar investment of ourselves and our money, we must follow God leading for partnering with cooperative efforts in “missions” around the world and here at home.
To the marching orders of “reach the lost,” “disciple the saved,” “plant churches,” and “provide ways to serve,” we add “partner with Missions.” When Sunday’s speaker, Brian Weed, missionary to Nicaragua, shared with us the marching order “partner with missions,” we saw how the missionary movement in Nicaragua has churches filled with followers of Christ who have made God's mission for the world their central purpose in life, even to the point that they are sending missionaries out beyond their own borders.
Yes, being on mission with God to bless the world is a pretty awesome thing. Whether, it’s the full investment of ourselves and our money to do “missions” all the time in our own relationships with people or the investment of ourselves and our money to partner with this missionary movement in Nicaragua and other similar missionary efforts around the world and here at home, the decision to participate is ours to make now. After you make your own prayer response to God regarding your participation in missions, please use the component “partner with missions” as a prayer request and pray, specifically and expectantly, that the work to “partner with Missions” in Nicaragua will flourish.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, I get it! I choose to be a giver of myself and my money. I ask you to show me one specific act of giving and doing missions I can do now in my own life. Also, I choose to give substantially to our mission partners in the coming year. I look forward to how you will expand this act of obedience into a cycle of giving and doing missions that wonderfully transforms my life into a life lived for the purpose of your mission of compassion to the world. Amen!
Posted on Fri, November 25, 2016
by Ken Hart