Two Leaders (we’ll call them Leader One and Leader Two) were given the assignment to go out, build, and look after the poor. They received equal budgets for this project. They were given £20 each.
Leader One went to the DIY superstore with his group. They looked at lots of different digging implements, but decided if they bought the cheapest tool they could find they would be able to give more to the poor. They spent £2 on a spoon and gave £18 to the poor.
Leader Two went to the DIY superstore with his people. They discussed how a king of the universe might accomplish their assignment, and they checked the bible (their building manual), this resulted in them selecting the best tools they could afford. They spent £18 on spades, and gave £2 to the poor.
Progress was slow. But the time came for new budgets, this time each leader was given £20,000. The first leader replaced the spoon his people were using to dig, set aside £1998 for future digging materials and gave £18,000 to the poor.
Leader Two went out and bought a JCB digger for £18,000 and gave £2,000 to the poor.
After the first year Leader One had just about made it to footing depth with their first hole. They all rejoiced and were pleased with what they had achieved. Also they had given more to the poor than the other group, surely a reason to celebrate.
In the same time frame Leader Two finished a house and sold it. With the money He bought more tools and materials and gave the surplus to the poor.
At the end of ten years Leader Two had not only built a long street with hundreds of houses, but was now building infrastructure as well. On top of this, every tenth house built was given to the poor. Leader Two had spent 10% of his income on giving to the poor and had enough tools and equipment to build a city.
At the end of ten years Leader One and his team finally finished their first house, they used 1000 spoons in the digging process, but 90% of their original income had been given to the poor.
The manager finally returned to see how they had executed their brief. Leader One was quietly confident. He had maxed-out on generous giving – a grand total of £18,018 to the poor!
But the result was not what he expected.
Upon inspecting the fruits of their labour the manager said: ‘Leader Two, in recognition of all that you have achieved I place you in charge of this city because you have built 95% of it and you have helped 90% of the poor.’ But to a somewhat deflated Leader One the manager said, ‘You built one house and helped 10% of the poor with your giving. Your house will be given to the poor.
Satan will tell you that you have no right to be rich while there are so many that are poor. This is a lie. We do need to give to the poor, and it’s good to alleviate need but God has given us the power and authority to eradicate poverty!
Leader One gave everything to the poor but he had nothing left to build with. He was only thinking about giving but God wants us to build His Kingdom! The bible is clear: Jesus
died so that the BLESSING could come on the Gentiles
(see Gal 3:14). We are also told that the blessing of the Lord ‘makes rich’ (Proverbs 10:22). How many would employ a building contractor that only built using spoons? The world is using brand new JCB diggers to build casinos and porn TV studios but Christians show up to help the God of the universe build His Kingdom holding a spoon!
The Bible says we are to ‘redeem the time for the days are evil’ (Eph 5:16). What redeems time? Washing machines, computers, phones, the Internet, technology, TV, cars, trains, planes, satellites; all these things redeem time, time which can be used to preach the gospel. These things cost money. Churches should be using the best tools available to preach the Gospel (cost no object). Our money is one of the tools we are blessed with in order to build the kingdom of God. More money, more building materials! God has given us the ability to get wealth (Deut 8:18) but most churches are still digging with spoons. We are supposed to be rebuilding the waste spaces (Isaiah 61:4-6), spreading the good news throughout the earth. God has enough resources for every church to have two planes employed full time in the preaching of the Gospel!
You can be poor and still be a lover of money. The Bible tells us that love of money is a serious problem. We love God not money, but we must not shy away from God’s abundant financial blessing, so His Kingdom can be built and the gospel preached! So, lets step up! If you love God instead of money, get rich; don’t settle for pay-packet to pay-packet living! Build the kingdom of God.
God wants every Christian to be supplied ‘according to His riches in glory’ (Phil 4:19). I don’t think that God Himself ‘does’ cheap & nasty (or mediocre, middle-of-the-road) but Christians often do. No, we are told that He builds with precious stones (Isaiah 54:11-13). He doesn’t dig with spoons, neither should we. We are supposed to imitate him (Ephesians 5:1). He wants us to prosper above all things
(3 John 2). He is able to make all grace abound to us, so that we will have all sufficiency in all things, so that we can have abundance to do every good work (2 Cor 9:8-9). ‘The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)’ (John 10:10). Let’s get our tools (financial ability) and together we will get the job done!