Do you realize that when we send missionaries out to foreign countries, we are sending out the Holy Spirit as well? When I write a check so that a missionary can live in and take the gospel to a tribe, I’m writing a check to send God into that tribe. Anywhere the gospel is being shared, or sanctification is happening, or Christian mercy is being shown, it is God who is there accomplishing it. There is no geographic distinction between the Lord and the Lord’s work. Wherever God is, He is working. And wherever He is working, He is there.
Think of the ramifications this has on how we spend our money! I have the choice of buying an $800 watch, or I have the chance to buy God’s airplane ticket from New York to Egypt. Which is more important? “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Scripture says that the Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure (Matt 13:44). What is so different between the Kingdom of heaven and everything else? God! And the kingdom of heaven is so much more spectacular in heaven itself than here on earth because God in His radiant glory is in Heaven. We’ve tasted of some of the benefits of being in the kingdom now because the Spirit is in our hearts, but in Heaven we’ll see God face-to-face. That’s so much better better! God is the Treasure. When we come to Christ, we get blessings, yes, but even more important, we get GOD!
If God is our treasure, then we’ll give all for the cause of God. If God is not our treasure, then we won’t give all for the cause of God. Simply put, how I give to the spread and growth of the Gospel is a prism which displays how much of a treasure I think God really is. My checkbook or debit card statement shows me how much I believe 1 Corinthians 15. If Christ rose again, then I should dedicate myself and my resources to this end. If Christ didn’t rise again, then I should spend all my resources on myself. There aren’t any other options.
Scripture never tells us how much to give. It simply says “Do all for the glory of God.” “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” In other words: Jesus Christ defines our lives. That’s it. There’s no dollar amount or percentage tacked on. God just says, “Let me define you.” If we’re defined by Christ, then our resources will be drawn toward what they ought to be drawn to. If my heart’s in heaven, my treasure will be spent equipping and sending out His soldiers. And as I support missionaries and churches and ministries, I’m writing checks directly to God as He works through them.
- Suffering displays the radiance of the glory of God
- Suffering drives us to dependence upon God
- Suffering reminds us of our frailty
- Suffering shows the nations God’s faithfulness
- Suffering makes us pray
- Suffering produces endurance
- Suffering makes us joyful
- Suffering serves to authenticate our salvation
- Suffering makes us long for heaven
- Suffering makes us thankful for Christ’s suffering
- Suffering reminds us of hell
- Suffering reminds us of the fallenness of the world
- Suffering makes us wary of Satan
- Suffering gives others the ability to serve
- Suffering strengthens the faith of other believers
- Suffering makes us grateful
- Suffering raises our eyes from ourselves to God
- Suffering may be a result from sin
- Suffering may be an authentication of righteousness
- Suffering paid for my sins, and is part of my identification with Christ
- Suffering displays the passion of God for His saints’ perfection
- Suffering makes the light of the Gospel shine in darkness of Satan’s kingdom
Suffering is never easy or pleasant, but it is God’s will for His followers as He relentlessly pushes us toward Christlikeness.