I reference this blog regularly as it just always has good, insightful teaching. This morning as I read it, I was convicted about an issue that had been brought along that I had committed to pray about. While I have prayed about it, I have not PRAYED about it and made it a priority. Here is what was a kick in the teeth, for me:
Treasure in heaven is not about stuff but seems to refer to doing good for others. Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matthew 19:21)
Paul later wrote, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
From these and other passages, I gather that it is not wrong to be rich or have stuff. God is more concerned with my priorities and what I do with what I have. As Jesus said, if I prioritize having stuff, I cannot be at the same time concerned about serving Him.
Perhaps the problem in North America is not the lack of teaching about heaven, but the focus of prosperity and the lack of teaching about the sin of selfishness. My sin nature wants its way all the time, and wants bigger, better, and more stuff. Without continual input from the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, I would be more concerned about accumulation than I would be about doing good and helping others.
I received this email from a dear friend of mine whose baby died in-utero. Her Ransom Everett's life, 19 weeks of it, had a profound effect on future events. I would go into that, but that isn't the purpose of this message, just know that it is true.
I can only imagine how many people she sent this message to. Every person she knows I am sure! I know some of those, a small percentage (sorry for the half-full perspective) forwarded that message on. I know I sent a message about collection for Uganda and got a response from like 4 people out of 34. That is 8.5%! UGH! So, if she sent this to 100 people does that mean 8 people responded? I don't know-I SURE HOPE NOT!
The church CAN do more! We CAN! Do good for others, it won't take much if we all do our part!
Here is an email from her about an issue she felt led to help with. Please consider getting involved. I have a very small readership-so if you would re post this on your blog too, that would be great!
Extreme Makeover – Jesus Style
So I’ve recently become aware of a situation that I’d really like to do something about. That I think, as a member of the body of Christ, I am responsible to do something about. Some of you who will read this will immediately know the situation I am about to share with you. Others of you will not. Please understand that I have “met” this family once. Well, I may have met the husband more than once, but we genuinely have no relationship other than the fact that they are my brother and sister in Christ, and His blood is thicker than water. I tell you that so that you will understand that this family has absolutely no idea that I am doing this. They truly don’t know me. There is no ulterior motive.
Please prayerfully consider what I am about to ask of you.
About a month after we lost our son, this family lost a little girl. In my previous blogs, this was the funeral I mentioned attending, and the only time I’ve ever met them. I remember that one of our mutual friends told me that they too, were self-employed. As self-employed people, they were also uninsured. Over the past several months, I’ve wondered about their medical bills. I’ve thought how blessed we were not to end up with a massive hospital bill weighing on our shoulders after the loss of a child. To me, it would almost feel like having to pay a huge amount of money for the greatest tragedy in my life. I don’t know that I could ever truly have closure without the weight of that bill being lifted off my shoulders.
I learned from another mutual friend that their medical bills are $30,000+. Ugh. Outrageous. Insurmountable. Horrific.
Is it really, though? God has shown Himself as mighty, powerful, and miraculous in my life in the most horrible situations. I truly believe He can do it again for this family.
I watch Extreme Home Makeover every single week. I find it to be a weekly therapeutic cryfest. I also often wonder about the families being assisted. Are they believers? Why haven’t other believers gathered around them and already helped out with this problem? Why haven’t I helped any other believers with a similar problem? Doesn’t the body of Christ have infinitely more power than ABC, Sears, or Ty Pennington? YES, WE DO!
I admit, in the past, I have thought things like, “Well, I don’t know them very well.” “They have their own church. As if there is really such a thing as a different ‘church,’ there’s just the body. I mean, all the believers are going to be spending eternity together, why not love on each other now, even beyond ‘local church’ boundaries.” “There’s nothing I can do. I’m broke too. The economy is horrible.” And on and on. Now, I KNOW that my God is SO much bigger than all of that. If He really lays it on your heart to give, HE WILL MAKE A WAY. That way just might involve sacrifice… but as believers, our lives are lives of sacrifice. Lives of offering.
The Acts church would sooner (and did) sell all of their belongings and share everything in common than allow a brother or sister to be in need. Well, from a mom who’s lost a baby, THIS IS A NEED.
Let’s be a part of something amazing. If only 30 families gave $1000, problem solved! If only 60 families gave $500, problem solved! If only 120 families gave $250, problem solved! This is one of the reasons that the body exists. We can lift up our brother and sister. We can bear this burden for them. We can give them something beautiful and miraculous in the wake of something tragic.
My God is SO MUCH BIGGER THAN $30,000!!!
So, this is our chance to be a part of an Extreme Makeover – Jesus Style. Here’s the difference in Jesus Style Extreme Makeovers. Nobody gets credit. They will not know that any of us had anything to do with this. I will gladly collect on their behalf and then forward it on to their church leaders. Jesus Style Extreme Makeovers don’t have product placements. There isn’t even a tax break. So, if you give, the right hand will not know what the left hand is doing. But Jesus will know.
Once it is finished, and I truly believe that God will use His people to completely eliminate this burden from His children’s shoulders, I believe we are free to shout it from the rooftops! To God be the glory! The world will know us by our love. We can be the city on a hill. I believe we can tell everyone we know of the time when God used His people to pay a massive bill for a family who needed help. This family won’t need the government. This family won’t need an employer. This family won’t need an organization. This family will only need GOD and His people!
Be part of something amazing.
Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you plan to give, I will send you my contact information and give you the name of the family. My preference would be to collect checks or money orders made out to the family in need.
Get in touch. Let’s blow the roof off this thing.
God, and His people, are far more powerful than anything we face in this life. Let’s lift up the arms of this family so that they can continue to hold His banner high.
A Daughter of the King
P.S. – Please don’t alter this email to say something like, “Forward to 10 people or God doesn’t love you,” but PLEASE FORWARD IT ON!
Also, this may be unnecessary, but if you know this family, please don’t tell them this is happening.