Where to begin....
BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) lesson last week hit me. (Shameless plug--BEST BIBLE STUDY EVER!)
Matthew 25:29 says "For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them." This comes from the Parable of the Talents. It's not your talents as we think today, this was a weight of gold or silver. But that's really not the point either. Rather than a person's natural gifts, the money more likely represents God's truth, the Bible and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. God has entrusted his poverty-the gospel-to His servants. God holds us responsible for the treasure (His word and grace) He gives us. We are to use the opportunities He gives, grow in our knowledge of Him and give His treasure to the world.
I want God to open my eyes to the opportunities He gives me. I want Him to help me use them so the gospel is reproduced in the lives of others. I want to be useful to Him, because really, what else is our point in life? Serving Him is the reason we are here. I recognize that ALL I have (knowledge of Him, relationships, and earthly things) are a result of the Master's provision; yet He has rewarded me with even greater abundance. I am to be responsible for what He has given and share my Master's joy.
Then the sermon on Sunday was on the scene in Bethany where Mary pours our expensive perfume on Jesus. See Matthew 26:1-16, Mark 14:3-9 and John 12:1-11. Today, I'm working on my BSF lesson for this week and its the same Matthew 26 passage.
Jesus is worthy to be praised and deserves every lick of it! Mary didn't expect to be rewarded for giving Jesus something so luxurious and expensive. She didn't expect to be payed back. She also didn't do it so she would be talked about it for thousands of years to come! She did it out of LOVE for Him. She wanted to honor, praise and worship Jesus. Maybe that was all she had, a year's wages tied up in a little perfume bottle. But, she gave it all to Him, to glorify Him. And, she trusted Jesus that He would provide and didn't ask anything in return, even when others criticized.
Still my "easy and blessed" life was bugging me. Don't get me wrong, I have TOTALLY had my share of hardships. But, why is it so easy right now? Why am I the blessed one when so many others are troubled?
|Baby Boy Crum|
A friend reaches out to me for verses as her grandmother struggles with holding onto life.
A relative discovers cancer.
Another distant friend needs financial help in adopting another child, this time from China.
The world is full of pain, agony, despair and longs to be made right again. Romans 8:23, 2 Corinthians 5:4, Revelation 21:4
Then with the Talent parable in mind another verse jumped in from 2 Corinthians 1:4. "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled , we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." Comfort comes in all forms just like God's love. So, maybe it's a verse shared, a note written, a prayer prayed or a check to cover some costs.
God has entrusted ALL gifts given to me to use them to glorify Him, NOT ME. In this day and age, that last bit is the part people just don't seem to understand. I don't do any of this because I want people to know what I'm doing or giving. Matthew 6:1-2. I do it because I want to glorify God and spread His comfort, love and treasure (scripturally and financially).
And, God HAS blessed us financially beyond what we deserve with studied talent and new business opportunities and ideas, but I'm struggling with how I can make it all glorify God, and NOT ME. We have these businesses and opportunities not because we need or even want more money. It's because God has entrusted us with both his word and his dime to use them to help his children and in turn glorify him.
So, I'm figuring it out. I am finding exciting new things to be a part of to glorify God and help His children, more than just that regular tithing-to-the-church-thing-nobody-likes-to-talk-about. I'm a work in progress and I don't have it all right, but I ask for your prayers for guidance as to where those "talents" go and who is to benefit in scripture, in words, in deeds, and in weight of silver and gold.