Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Invest: How much is too much?

A friend of mine started Discovering Beautiful, a ministry designed to encourage individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. As such, she stays up to date on what's going on in the fight against drug and alcohol abuse. I've often thought our ministries are similar; we both focus on helping people find freedom.
The state of Colorado recently legalized the use of marijuana. During a subsequent conversation, my friend told me about the extent of money invested by proponents of marijuana legalization. Those campaigning to legalize marijuana had invested over $12,000,000 at that time. Those who wish to keep marijuana illegal had invested $56,000 in the fight. Those supporting the legalization of marijuana invested 214x more money to make their case heard - and they won!
In other words...
Here was my take away from that conversation...

Are we ready to invest in the battle?

The above doesn't apply only to the fight against drugs. It applies in all areas - abortion, definition of marriage, human trafficking, pornography, education standards, etc. A secular worldview is fighting hard to gain victory in these areas; they are investing time, money, and resources to win their battle. Many in the American church don't even realize a battle is going on, let alone are they ready to fight.
Grow Barefoot focuses more on missions than the war on drugs. Lottie Moon was a missionary to China for forty years; her service ended only by her death in 1912. A friend gave me this quote from Lottie Moon a few weeks ago, "Why should we not ... instead of the paltry offerings we make, do something that will prove that we are really in earnest in claiming to be followers of Him who, though He was rich, for our sake became poor?" (Source)
Read her story and you'll soon realize that Lottie wasn't content until she was giving the full extent of what she had in service to God's kingdom. She taught others the Word of God, she encouraged the American church of her day to support more missionaries out on the field. She wrote letters and articles to plead the cause of mission work in China. She evangelized and discipled people. She gave all of her time, resources, and meager income until God called her home.
Lottie Moon realized a battle is going on; she committed her life to fight. She willingly invested all she had.
Some of us may go to places like China or other locations in the far reaches of our shrinking globe. God calls the rest of us to join the battle right here and now. He asks us to invest our time, money, and resources in the battle. The world won't change and lives won't transform until we do.
American church, I believe a time of testing may be on our horizon. God will say, "I've blessed you in abundance; now what are you going to do with it?" Did we build mega-churches or did we feed the hungry? Did we give the homeless a place to sleep or did we lock our doors? Did we reach out to the abandoned, the imprisoned, and the lonely or did we wait for them to come find us in our cushy pews?
Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me.  ...
I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me' (Matthew 25:34-36, 40).

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