Posted by: macahajo | July 14, 2013

What would you do with $20?

After being gone for several weeks, our family finally got to go back to our home church and worship with so many of our close brothers and sisters in Christ. Our pastor opened his message by asking for people to stand up and volunteer for an experiment. Those of us who stood were handed an envelope and told to open it. Inside, there were different denominations of money. Most received $10 or $20 while others were given $50 or $100. The experiment was to see how you could use the money for the Gospel. I was given $20 and immediately began to think about what God would want me to do with it.

Our pastor then took us to Luke 19 for the sermon. It was a great lesson that we will be accountable for what the Lord has given us and how we use it for His glory. He stressed that the rewards were given to those who took the portion of the master’s money and multiplied it. I have read and heard sermons on Luke 19 numerous times, but God showed me something that I have not focused on before. We tithe and we give money to missions. But do I have a focus on seeing a wise return on that investment?

I was considering what to do with the $20 when our pastor pointed out that we all receive a portion to use for the Lord’s work and glory when we receive our paycheck. I never thought of it that way. It’s not just the 10% that belongs to the Lord. Every penny and every dollar is His also. It got me thinking about what I can do to spend less so that I can give more to the Lord’s work. How can I cut or limit some of the things I do so that I can give more to God?

What if I cut out a visit to Starbuck’s and that $3 drink once a month?
What if I didn’t go to that fast food restaurant once a month for that $6 meal?
What if…

It makes me wonder why we don’t think like this all the time? What drives our selfishness and our focus on ourselves? At least part of the answer was right there in Luke 19. The unfaithful servant had a wrong view of the master. Verse 21 says “For I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.” That wrong view led the servant to do anything with the money he was given charge of and he hid it in a handkerchief. What a waste!

I am realizing how short this life is and how important it is to be doing the Lord’s work. My time will pass away and I wonder what difference will I have made for The Lord that will last.  I want my life to count for something and for people to be blessed because I lived. So how does this happen? It starts with a right relationship with Jesus and leads to a life focused solely on how I can bring the most glory and praise to Him.

I’m reading 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles for my devotions and I am overwhelmed at how God rewards even the smallest bit of faithfulness. So many times, the kings are evil in their lives and practices. But when there is a faithful king, God is pleased to bless him. But often, the king doesn’t go far enough in his faithfulness. He might leave the high places for idol worship, or he might start out strong but be led into sin. What would my story look like if it were written down? Did I use every bit of my life and being for God’s praise and glory? Or did I allow some sin into my life? Was I faithful to the end? Or did I stray later in life?

So I hold this $20 and pray that God will use it in my family’s life to challenge us to focus more on the Lord’s work and how we can be part of spreading the Gospel and disciple as many people as possible, so that those people can then spread the Gospel and disciple as many people as possible. Through this exercise, God has renewed my resolve and conviction that what we are desiring to do and spend our life on is right where God wants us. How about you? What will you do with the “$20” God has given you?

-Mark

Go to http://www.elginefc.org/heart to hear the full message from July 7th, 2013, given by Pastor Brian Erickson, Elgin Evangelical Free Church


Responses

  1. Mark, thank you for sharing!


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