The Missionary’s Dilemma

I woke up this morning struggling with my thoughts, (what my husband and I call – our “stinkin’- thinkin’).  How can we do the work we’re called to do, without having our monthly needs met?  Here again, this problem looms the greatest in our minds.  I was really questioning the Lord – what is going on these days?  And then I thought about how we recently met a pastor – ( a friend of our friends here in Costa Rica), – who introduced us to him as missionaries.  He then asked us some very pointed questions . . “Please tell me, as a missionary, what is your greatest frustration?”  I answered quickly – “our lack of support – we struggle constantly trying to find committed supporters“.  Then he said, “And when you visit the states, what do you see?”  Without even pausing, I said, “I see people living with excess – with televisions in every room, with “boy-toys” stuffing garages – – I see people hoarding for themselves, but also many who criticize us for having to ask for help”.  This man then told me about a “mega-church” he had attended where the pastor has his own jet to get around the country in.  Then he said, this pastor was telling someone that his wife had to arrange to get somewhere, and someone asked this pastor, “so are you sending your jet to go get her?”  And this pastor answered, “No, she has a jet of her own.”  This to me is unheard of.  What is going on with the churches of today?  Who are these people that they have to have jets for themselves, (more than one, mind you)?  Or how many houses does a person need, or cars for that matter?  There are people questioning our presidents and politicians for the very same thing – “why are they spending so much when our country is suffering financially?”  When is enough, enough?  God is going to hold Christians accountable for this lavish spending on themselves.  God has blessed Christian people to BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS!  Do you see God blessing someone?  If so, does it end in their hands, closed fists hanging on to all that they can accumulate in this world?  Are these people needing to build a bigger garage to house their various automobiles, motorcycles, boats, travel trailers, – and God knows what else?  What are they giving to missions, anything?  Can I venture to say? –  I’ll bet those with all these things don’t even give a tenth of what they make.  We’ve seen that those who seem to have so little, are the greatest givers – why does Jesus say?:  “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” – Mark 10:25

We have another friend who tells people who have wealth that they should begin to convert their assets from earthly treasures into heavenly treasures.  After all, no matter who they think they are, or how much they have accumulated, not one of us can take anything with us when we’re gone. Yes, they may be able to pass some of their wealth to their children, but what about the excess?  What about all the duplicate items in a large empty house?  Many times the things left behind by parents to their children are for the most part – not valued the same way.  What item really has true value?

I find that the greatest item we can have is our relationships!  That is something we can take with us, because it’s what we hold in our hearts.  We may not be near those who we love, but it doesn’t change how we feel about them.  We still love them.  This is especially true with our relationship with God.  This is the greatest thing we can possess!  This is what we must hold on with all our strength, our hearts our minds!

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Please read some of the following scriptures and study done below concerning our tithing.

There are four things Christians must do in giving: they must give willingly from the heart, they must not give grudgingly; they must not give of compulsion; they must give cheerfully  (2 Cor 8:129:5, 7).  Christians who give what they can to those in need will find that the grace of God furnishes a sufficiency for their own needs, and even more, in order that they may abound in good works for others  (Psa 41:1-2Prov. 11:24-2519:1722:9;  Eccl. 11:1;  Luke 6:38;  2 Cor 9:68-15). 

At the heart of all Christian giving is the acknowledgement that God is the creator, the owner, and the giver of all things, and what we give back to God is only a part of what He has given to us in the first place (Gen 1:1Exod 19:5;  Deut. 8:7-20;  1 Chron 29:10-16Psa 24:150:10-12Hag 2:8; John  1:1-3James 1:172 Pet 1:3).  Everything Christians have belongs to the Lord.  No one has anything that they had not first received from God.

Scriptures are very clear on the subject of giving – only those who sow into the Kingdom will reap the Kingdom benefits (Gal 6:6-10). Paul is defining God’s law of sowing and reaping here.  It applies to every aspect of the Christian walk:  Christians giving of themselves, their finances and their time to others; their financial support of the ministry, their moral behavior, and their Christian service.  Gal 6:9-10 teaches that whenever Christians keep doing good, in spite of the opposition they may encounter, in due course they will reap the fruit of the harvest.  And notwithstanding that they are to do good unto all men, they are to be particularly concerned with the well – being of other Christians  (Mt 25:31-46).  All Christian giving has to be as to God, the Christians’ source, for whatever Christians do they are doing it as unto Jesus.  Jesus equates Christians’ treatment of those in need with their treatment of Himself:  what Christians do for them, they do for Him.  The Christian walk is not only a spiritual walk, it must also serve the material needs of others, especially other Christians  (James 2:13-17).

Here Christians are presented with the real test of their faith. Christians are not justified by works, but because they are justified by faith, they do the works.  This proves their consecration to God’s service and confirms their love for God and for each other (1 John 3:16-19).  The only faith that saves is that demonstrated by works out of Christians’ love for God.  This scripture is the exact counterpart of John 3:16: “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. 1 John 3:16-19  is the acid test of Christianity by which Christians know whether they are following the example of God’s love to others.  If Christians are not willing to give of material things to others in need, they certainly would not lay down their lives for them.  It is not enough that wealth and material possessions are acquired for self-gratification.  They must always be made available for the work of God  (Matt 6:19-24; Luke 12:13-21; 2 Cor 9:5-6).  Although God’s law of sowing and reaping dictates that blessings will always be returned for generosity, Christians must never give in order to receive.  Giving must always be motivated by love.

 Partial Studies by Br Val Boyle

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