Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pray Give and Go Part 1

It is my heart's desire to someday travel the world proclaiming the greatness of our glorious Lord to the nations and singing of His unfailing love and grace.  My heart longs to walk every continent and experience the sights, smells and tastes that each culture uniquely produces.  I expect that through each new experience to learn something new about our Creator.  Because He made mankind to bear His image, we have the priviledge of expressing some of His characteristics to one another. Every culture uniquely expresses some aspect of God's infinite beauty.  With all that being said, I know that it isn't my time to go to the nations.  I have been blessed to bring up the next generation of Christ-followers.  This is my season to raise our children. 
Although my legs and arms cannot touch the soils of these distant places, my prayers and finances can.  In fact, God graciously allows us to participate in His work around the world as we pray and give.  I am awestruck as I consider that as I pray for and give to those whom the Father has called to go, that I will receive the same reward as those who do go.  Jesus explains this in Matthew 10:40-42.  

" [41] Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward. [42] And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward."

In these verses, to receive is to welcome the messenger and his message.  It could have referred to the practice of having the prophet,or disciple live in one's home while he was ministering in the area.  Jesus talks about this in the previous verses.   

MT 10:11 "Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. [12] As you enter the home, give it your greeting. [13] If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. [14] If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. [15] I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.   

 But this is abundantly clear, if we give even a cup of water to support the ministry of someone doing God's work, we will be rewarded.  John also talks about this principle in regards to supporting those who are doing God's work, but he also talks about the impact of supporting those who teach a false doctrine.  In other words, we can either support or reject someone's work by helping or not helping to meet the person's need.

3JN 1:5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers, even though they are strangers to you. [6] They have told the church about your love. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. [7] It was for the sake of the Name that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans. [8] We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.

  [9] Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. [10] If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. [11] Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

Paul talks to the Romans about a similar concept.   RO 15:30 I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.   See?  We can join in the struggle that others are facing through prayer.   

Now why would God use our prayers and giving in order to accomplish His perfect plans?  You do know that He doesn't need us?  He has every available resource.  He can accomplish EVERY purpose without us.  It is His generosity that ALLOWS us to be a part of His great work.  He knows that the  process changes us to become more like Him and allows us to experience the "true riches".  In short, we are blessed in the process.

It also unites His people, as we depend on each other to accomplish His great work. You see, I have to depend on others to go where I cannot.  And for those who do go, they must depend on others to provide for their physical needs through giving.  And we all need others to pray for us so that we can accomplish the extraordinary!  I depend on the prayers of others, and you should be depending on mine.  In fact, I believe that one of the reasons He allows us to have needs, is so that we can help one another and thus be joined together in the process. And when it comes to my treasure(including money), my heart is joined with yours as I give my treasure to meet your needs.  Remember where my treasure is, my heart will be also.  It's really a  powerful concept, if we would embrace it. 

God wants His body acting, moving and breathing as ONE.  Not as independents parts doing their own thing.  We NEED each other.  Admit it.  Accept it.  Embrace it.  The early church was a beautiful example of what this looks like:

 AC 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. [43] Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. [44] All the believers were together and had everything in common. [45] Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. [46] Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, [47] praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Do you accept your call to pray, and give?

No, I didn't forget about the "Going".  More on that in part 2.

No comments:

Post a Comment