Anytime sacrificial giving is mentioned, people get real antsy. It’s not that we don’t want to give to Kingdom work…it’s just that we’re selfish. Now you’re probably thinking I’m talking about money…No, I’m not! I’m talking about something far more valuable to you than money…it’s your time. We’ll happily give to charitable organizations, relief funds, and soup kitchens…but ask us to volunteer our time and that’s a different story. It says in II Corinthians 8:12, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” God wants you, not your money…He wants you to volunteer rather than just donate to the cause…He wants you to give sacrificially of your most valuable resource…yourself.
The blind beggar was sitting by the side of the road near Jericho. As Jesus walked near, the crowd brought the blind man to Him. Jesus knew the beggar was blind, so why did He still ask him that question? “What do you want Me to do for you?” It says in Matthew 7:8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” The Lord wants us to ask Him for the desires of our heart…even down to tiny things that only we care about. Asking the Lord for something to be given to us isn’t unspiritual or lacking faith…it’s quite the opposite. The Lord delights in us asking.
Where does your allegiance lie? Do you hold firmly to your “things”…your material possessions…your earthly goods at the detriment of your Christian walk? If you’ve been worshipping at the altar of retail shopping…has money and wealth now become your god? The contrast between selfish love and the love of Christ couldn’t be farther apart and more difficult to admit to in our own lives…but Jesus is also very plain in this scripture that we cannot serve both Him and money…For our loyalty can only be to one master.
A man goes to his friend’s house at midnight looking for bread…but is told to “Go away!” In this story, his friend appears not to care about the man’s dilemma. Likewise for us, there are times when it appears to be a shrouding of God’s friendship for us…or at least times when we go through seasons of spiritual confusion. The Lord will seem like a distant, unkind and uncaring friend that won’t answer our calls. It’s during those times of spiritual confusion that we need to hold steadfast to what we already know…that God is faithful, trustworthy, and true. And we need to keep doing the right things…reading our Bible, praying, and maintaining our walk…all with tenacity. For later on in the story, because of the man’s stubborn persistence…his friend did get up and give him bread.
Next to the Resurrection, the feeding of the 5,000, is the only story found in all four Gospels. Even though they all come from a little different perspective, the miracle was the same, and important enough to be recorded numerous times. On the disciples part, they’ve been traveling with Jesus and witnessing countless miracles, but when Jesus challenged them to feed the throng of people milling around, they froze. With a total lack of faith and vision they told Him, “We have only five loaves and two fish. We can’t start to feed this many people!” But Jesus then takes matters into His own hands, gives thanks for what they already have, and multiplies it. So what important lesson did the disciples learn that was significant enough to be recorded in all four Gospels? Jesus took what they already had and increased it a 1000 times over. He didn’t focus on their lack, but rather on how it could be multiplied and used for His glory. When God calls you to something, He’ll use what you already have…and as you move forward in faith and trust in Him, it will be multiplied.
Ask yourself what you hold dear today. What is it that’s precious and cherished in your life? Is it sitting in the garage, or on your wrist, or proudly placed in your house for all to see? Or are they intangible, incorruptible things that only come from a heart where the Holy Spirit abides? Jesus tells us that if our priority is gathering up wealth and riches down here on earth…our heart will soon become a haunt of unclean lusts. But if the things we value are Godly and right, we will have treasures in heaven that will never be exhausted. (Luke 12:34)
This verse comes from the Parable of the prodigal son…a young man, who after squandering his portion of his inheritance, found himself starving to death in the middle of a pigsty. It was in those deplorable conditions, that he finally came to himself…recovering his right mind, and realizing just how far he had wandered away. Repentance is a change of mind…leading to a change of heart…which leads to a change of our actions. Unfortunately for many of us, Godly sorrow is only attained when we find ourselves in the middle of the pigsties of life.