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 was posted yesterday, I am continuing Part 2 today. I am glad to have you with me as I explore the questions, “What if…”, each week.
Yesterday, in the “What if” series, I wrestled with the question , “What if I spent all I am for God?” I found myself thinking of the people in scripture that spent what they had to give, unconcerned for the possible risks. This evening, I took my children to see the new movie, God’s Not Dead. I will be honest and say I wanted to enjoy it but I also wanted to be very careful to see that the movie did not stray from Truth. It was a good movie, I cried.. I laughed… I clapped, a bit. It ignited conversation around our supper table, as well. We have been studying philosophy together this year, so it was great to have something to really connect to that would help us find holes in the ideas on worldview and religion that are often presented in conversation.
Why mention this? Well, to keep from spoiling the movie for you, if you have not yet been able to see it. This is a movie about taking risks, living for truth, and spending yourself for God. It was a great opportunity to talk to my kids about mission-minded living, right here in the every day life we live.
So let’s look at a few more characters in scripture that spent all they had because they loved God: A reckless disciple whose name was changed to rock, the faithful servants who invested all they were given in obedience, and a woman who needed a miracle by faith.
We risk nothing when we give what we have, because it really isn’t ours to keep.
When Peter was entering the temple in Acts 3 he was asked by a man who was crippled for a gift. His response is one of my favorite statements of faith in the book of Acts. I can imagine this apostle whose faith was on fire and rapidly lighting the flames which spread the light of Christ throughout the early church with a twinkle in his eye. You know that is what happens when we spend time in the presence of God, we begin to look a little more like Him. Just like He shines, we begin to illuminate the path before us. As Peter took in the scene before him he said, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, that I do give to you. In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” ( Acts 3:6)He just spent the deposit that Christ entrusted to Him.
Reading this story just strengthens my faith. We all have the ability to stand in faith upon His Word and the authority to speak His Name into the very situations where hope has been depleted and love has been void. We have each been given a gift or gifts to use up for His Glory. They are not ours to hold onto, but they belong to God, they are His to bestow into the lives of others. We are here to make a difference.
We are here to spend our all so that we can be made full in Him.
I am reminded of the result of obedient service when I think of those who spend their lives for God as compared to those which hold back in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. The servant who chose to hide their talents in the ground was considered especially wicked. Yet, it is so easy for us to follow the path this servant took. We feel inadequate, unappreciated, and unworthy because we are so focused on comparing ourselves with others and their gifts. Let me remind you friend, this is where sin gets a foothold in our lives and we lose that battle that was never ours to fight.
When we give, we imitate God. He has set the example of how to give good gifts. ( James 1:17)We also need to know how to receive. We need to remember that we cannot hold on to those things which have been entrusted to us as though they are OURS. Every single gift we have, every talent within our storehouse, is meant to be used. Use your gifts and expect them to be replenished…even multiplied, because that is just the type of God we serve. He meets our needs in abundance. We have no need to hold on to the material items which have only temporal value. Grab on to the glorious eternal gifts that will never be taken away from you.
Don’t let comparison rob you of the destiny God has ordained for you.
As I look at the life of Christ, I am moved by his compassionate love for those who sought him out with no hesitation or care of those around them. They knew that He had exactly what they needed. Many times they abandoned the criteria society placed upon them and chose to break free in order to obtain their miracle. They had a deep faith. They were tired of the lack in their lives. Like the woman who poured the ointment upon the feet of the Savior, they were beyond impressing the crowd. It was time to be real; it was time to be healed. It was time to be free from the boundaries and constraints this world had tied upon them and walk in the peace that His compassionate love provided. Are you ready to do the same?
Risk takers step out in faith believing the gain is worth more than the possible loss.
The last example of a life spent and a risk taken is found in Luke 8:43-48. I love this story. Her faith has spoken to my heart in so many ways. There are only 6 verses owning her story in this gospel retelling of events. She was a sick woman who spent all she had on physicians, with no hope of change. Yet, the Word tells us she became worse under their care instead of better. One of my favorite lines from the Declaration of Independence says, “Men will suffer evils while evils are sufferable.” Mr. Jefferson hit the nail on the head. We tend to put up with a lot of ‘junk’ will we can’t put up with it any more. Well, this brave heart was done and made a choice to take a risk.
She sought Christ, setting aside the requirements that she be set apart , to find healing. It was only a touch of the garment he wore that completed the healing her faith set in motion. It was the virtue of God flowing through her, changing and reorganizing every cell of her body, and it was instantaneous. The two people who knew what happened, immediately, both turned around. Jesus looked for her because he knew that her parched vessel was now full of the abundance that flowed from Him. She found herself bowing low, sensing at once the change that took over her body. He acknowledged her faith and released her into the mission she was now prepared to carry. Her life was ultimately changed by the miracle of His transforming touch.
Let me encourage you.. when you spend all you have on God, the reward is a life transformed.
So as I sit here and I am asking you to consider this question, “What if you spend yourself on God?” what idea immediately comes to mind? Are you willing to take that risk?
If we spend ourselves on God, then we can trust that we will continually be filled so that we can spill forward the blessings that He has for others who are lacking. Your gifts are the start of your journey. Like Peter, look intently into the situations right before you and out of the abundance which is planted within you, release that into someone else’s life so that you too can stand before God and say, “I gave all I had. I took the risk. I spent myself for you.”
What do you have to spend today?
Praying your faith will rise up and bubble over into each situation life brings your way.