What if I spend all I am on God, will the benefits outweigh the risks? I am asking some hard questions each week that come up as I am spending time reading my Bible and journaling my thoughts on the journey. I hope you will come along with me, share a few comments to the questions I pose, and perhaps give me a few to think about, as well. This post will be in 2 parts. Once I began writing, I couldn’t stop. So, in general respect for your time I decided to break it in half and post Part 1 today and Part 2 tomorrow. I am glad to have you with me as I explore the questions, “What if…”, each week.
There are a few stories in the Word of God that grab my attention each time I read them. They are meant to, I know, but I always find my heart is melting a little more when I visit them. I love to read of the women whose lives were changed by one encounter with Jesus. I love to hear of stories of lives which were ultimately changed by mere seconds in the presence of the Lord … and I want to be them. I want to be that one who is unrecognizable from my previous state because of the change He alone has made in me. Yet, sometimes I am not, and I wrestle with that.
The thought now hovers close: When I come to the end of my days, I want to have given it all for Him. Trusting that anything I have is merely a fraction of the blessing He has to give through me into the lives of others.
So I ask, “What if I spent all I am on Him, would I see the risk is worth it all?”
I want to hear Him say at the end of my days, “Well, done, thou good and faithful servant. Well, done!” And I want to be sure that I gave all I could, because to gain the world is not the goal, but to win the world for Him should be.
Immediately, I think of my location and vocation. I am not called to the foreign mission field. I am not called to the pulpit. I am not called to the theatre, or gifted to perform an instrument for His glory. What is my service meant to be? What can I expend in faith?
My life is the calling He is seeking.
Quite simply, it is just being real, true, and honest in my everyday living. Living intentionally on purpose doesn’t have to look the same as my neighbor’s service, because I don’t need to duplicate his gift. And likewise, he cannot replicate mine. We were each made with a purpose, on purpose, to fulfill a destiny only we can perform. It is our race to run, and we must willfully choose to put on the shoes, tie the laces, and start to move forward.
There was a woman in Luke 7 who poured out all she had, spending herself, expecting nothing in return, because she was grateful. Jesus acknowledged her gifts openly, praising her and encouraging her with earnest awareness of the audience before him. She poured out what was hers to give, in grateful abandon, because she had much to be thankful for. Jesus said that she could love much because she had been a recipient of abundant mercy. As she ministered to Him, she, too, was ministered to and released in peace. (Luke 7:36-50)
When we spend all we have within us, we are able to be filled with His peace.
Consider this: If we merely love those who love us, lend to those who will repay with interest, pray for those who bless us, give to those who are puffing us up, … then we are NOT like Christ.
Our ambition does not match His when we serve without risk. To be honest, the truth of the matter is that we are serving someone else, usually ourselves, and as difficult as it is to hear, the Bible reminds us that we are like the devil when we are pride-filled and self-serving. Ouch!
The Word of God says to serve those who are broken, needy, and sick. Lend to those who can’t pay you back, expecting NO RETURN. Pray for your enemies, and turn your cheek to those who abuse you. I actually like to think of this service as an investment with a guaranteed return. You are planting a seed that has eternal purpose encoded within its shell. We need to give out of both our abundance and, also, by faith give of out of our lack all that we have as a promise and a sign that we are IN Christ.
This sacrificial living is not for the weak and faint of heart, but it is for YOU!
Sacrificial living is not easy. It hurts. It is difficult. It is often lonely, because there are few who walk this road. That is why scripture says the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few( Matt 9:35-38), or the road is narrow and steep and not well traveled like the wide road whose way is smooth and crowded.(Matt 7:13-14) Oftentimes, we spend all we are to be ignored, forgotten, and even laughed at. But let me remind you that the One who neither slumbers nor sleeps does not miss a thing.( Ps 121:4) That is the promise of hope that we cling to, the eternal promise is the just reward for a life of faith. But is that all we hope and seek… something in return?
We serve so that others can see Christ IN us, not our good deeds.
We serve so that Christ would increase, and we would decrease.
We take the risk to spend all we have because the return on the investment is sure.
We need to be depleting our reserves of the signature we create, to be imprinted with the image of Christ’s seal upon our lives. Try to walk and live your life in a way that your reflection mirrors the habitation of your dwelling place, which is the mercy seat of Christ. Release all you have and are, to be filled with all He is, because He is the source which is unending. We can come to the well continually to dump our bucket low and drink deep the blessing of life.
This is what makes you stand out. This makes you look like the Savior. This is what makes you attractive to others. Spend the temporal things of this life, in order to gain the heavenly eternal treasure that does not rust, rot, or mold away. Bring someone with you to experience the same. Don’t hesitate to invite someone else on the journey.
Are you willing to spend your self today?
Tomorrow we will look at a few more examples of those who spent themselves and risked everything for His peace. Stop back and join me as I wrestle with the question of spending my life for His Glory.
Praying you are challenged to take the risks today.
Dare to be willing to pour out what you have in order to be filled with all He is.