Giving Everything You Have
Blog by: Dave Burkholder
Throughout history, from creation until today, God has one primary mission; relationship with the pinnacle of His creation – YOU. There are numerous qualifiers we can use to test how we might be doing in this eternal relationship. For example: how we spend our time, how we react when we get cut off in traffic, our response when life presents us with a tough situation, our love for the unlovely, etc. Are we quick to run to creator God and cry out to Him when things get tough or do we try the “normal” things first to solve problems on our own and come to God only in desperation? If we come to God in desperation He is always there to hear our cry, but is it not better to daily walk in His presence and by His spirit be the reflection He wants us to be?
As it says in Psalm 89:15-16
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
They rejoice in your name all day long;
they celebrate your righteousness.
There may be no better reflection of our relationship with the living Savior then the level of generosity we have when it comes to the riches God has given us. I was reminded recently from Proverbs 3:9-10 that if we claim to have a relationship with the living God then we will honor Him with the best that we have. Too often we give out of the abundance we have, but do not really stop to ask Father God how we can best serve Him with what He has given us, both our talents and riches. I, for one, do not want to have such an attachment to the things of this world that I will “go away sad” as the rich ruler did in Luke 18. Jesus demands everything when we decide to follow after Him but the rewards are innumerable, including: eternal life, love, joy, peace, provision, etc. Our Father God has given us resurrection instead of death, gain instead of loss, and restoration instead of destruction.
Over the years I have visited many believers in various countries and I am reminded of one elderly lady in North Africa who I will refer to as Lydia. At the time of my visit, she was living in a “house” approximately 8 feet by 6 feet and she had been in prison numerous times due to following Jesus and not being willing to recant her faith in Him as her Savior and Lord. As we listened to her story, the joy that radiated through her was both infectious and humbling. She was an example of someone who had given everything to follow Jesus and she could have gone on for hours sharing story after story of how God delivered her from those who wanted to kill her. She had additional opportunities to share Jesus Christ with those around her, including the prison guards when she was in prison. This was a lady with almost no earthly possessions but a knowledge of and relationship with Jesus Christ that inspired others to give up everything to follow Him. As Paul stated in II Corinthians 12:9-10 – Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. There are so many believers around the world today in the same situation as Lydia, with no earthly riches, but being used by God to be a tremendous light in some of the darkest places imaginable.
Will you take a moment today to lift up these believers in prayer and ask God to sustain them so the Kingdom of God will continue to “come on earth as it is in heaven”? Also, take a moment to ask Him for specifics on how He would have you use your talents and riches. Is there more He would have you do today? May God fill you with His Spirit and in Him may you find your strength. Allow Him to use everything you have to build the kingdom of God until everyone has heard.