Financing God

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.

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3 responses to “Financing God”

  1. zooeyibz says :

    “I’m writing a check to send God into that tribe.”

    I love that you believe in a God who needs cash incentives. Clearly if he were as omnipotent and merciful as you apparently believe he is he would be able to make his way to the “tribes” (what a quant, paternalistic choice of words!) without a push from your checkbook….

  2. Cole says :

    Most people cannot find a way to reconcile the existence of God with the problem of pain. On one hand, we have a God who is supposedly not only omnipotent but perfect and loving. On the other hand, we have so much death and suffering. This can mean only one of two things: (1) God doesn’t exist or (2) God is not good.

    At least, that’s the conclusion most people reach.

    However, there is a third possibility. The third possibility is that God, in His power and love, has chosen to work through people. They are His preferred agents. The Bible depicts God as someone who longs to show His power and His love through and in the lives of those who love Him. People often refuse to do this, because letting God change the world means letting Him change you. People resist His authority, and therefore they rarely get to see His power.

    If people resist God, then He will of course find new ways to manifest Himself. The Bible says that God can use anything from donkeys to piles of rocks as His agents. But He wants to use people, because when He works through people He changes them. If God uses a person or a rock to achieve His purpose, the result will always be the same. But if He uses a person, the person will be blessed. The rock, on the other hand, will stay the same.

    In response to Zooey’s comment, I don’t think Nate believes in a God “who needs cash incentives.” I think what he does believe in is a God who wants to work through people and the gifts and abilities they possess. Because of this, He calls people to be careful with those gifts and abilities. He wants them to spend them on something greater than themselves, something that benefits others.

    This “putting-others-first” is ultimately what every social activist or relief worker believes. Anyone who rushes into a disaster or donates money to a cause believes this. But the difference between secular relief workers and Christian missionaries is that the secular relief workers believe they are bringing only their own gifts and talents to the table. The Christians, however, believe they are bringing gifts and talents that God can work through.

    They are bringing, ultimately, something greater than themselves.

  3. Katie Abbott says :

    A reminder I needed. Thank you!

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