***After rereading this post, I need to clarify that I wrote this under the obvious assumption that CHRIST is obviously the only One who changes lives and to know Him and to understand what He did on the cross is THE blessing. My point was that Christ chose US to be the ones to reveal Him to the world… Christ in us, the hope of glory….meaning we are placed here for the express purpose of pointing others to Him. Since He no longer walks physically on this earth, He has sent us to be a blessing. No other blessing that He created compares to the one of a child of God following Him in obedience and with a willing heart revealing Jesus.**
My heart and head have been FULL today. Wonderfully and yet dreadfully full. For the past several months, I have been wrestling with the issue of the difference between social justice and the Great Commission. Many people…many Christians…many churches have considered them one and the same and have lumped them together into the best possible mixture of the world and the Gospel. However, just as water and oil will never mix, neither does light have any fellowship with darkness.
Today I turn 34. I have had 34 great years on this year… 34 very blessed years…some of those years have been harder than others, but Jesus has walked with me through every ONE. Today our Holy Spirit filled pastor preached an amazing message on generosity and then our Word filled Sunday School teacher followed up with a timely message on satisfaction. These two things were created to go hand in hand. You cannot be generous and not find yourself satisfied and you cannot be satisfied if you are not generous. God created them as two sides to the same coin. I have found this to be profoundly true in my own short life…
…And here is where I found the line in the sand today between social justice and the call of all the saints to “GO!” It jumped out at me in just a few verses today. “He made Himself poor that WE might become rich…” Jesus intricately put Himself in a position of humility and yes, poverty…for the express purpose of giving us the opportunity to be rich. He, the owner of everything, made Himself nothing… to give us the chance to live richly. No, He didn’t flush everything down the toilet or sell everything He had, but He did, very willingly, put everything He possessed on HOLD so that He could come down to our level, become like us, and relate to us.
Social justice and socialism are both ideas that seem to get their start on Biblical principles, but then they run off onto the same wide path of sin that we all struggle daily to stay off of. They lose their Biblical mirror image in a verse that says “Each person should do as he has decided in his heart – not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corin 9:7 WAIT a minute. Paul just said that if you are doing it because you feel guilty or you think it makes you a better person or someone is making you do it or you have impure motives in any other way, then you might as well not give in the first place cause God is looking for cheerful givers…God is using cheerful givers to build His Kingdom…God can multiply and multiply a CHEERFUL, WILLING, UNFORCED gift. A cheerful giver gives because he KNOWS that it is the Christ designed path to satisfaction.
Each of us were created with a “lot” in life. We cannot change the color of our skin, the family we were born into, the country that we were born in, the social status that we grew up in…but we need to have our eyes opened to the fact that God has a plan for EVERY ONE of those things in our lives. He has a plan for our race, our creed, and the amount of money that we have in our pocket…but I think that those of us that have rejected the social justice and socialism bandwagon (as we should because it is unBiblical) have also forgotten a place in the Bible that says “To whom much is given, much is required” Luke 12:48 Have you been given money? The Lord has blessed you with it so that you can choose to reach down to the level of others at every opportunity and use that money to share Christ with them, however that looks in the given situation. Have you been given citizenship in a free country? The Lord has blessed you with freedoms so that you can share His Name unashamedly and often with the people in your circle…so that you have the opportunity to GO! and bless others. Have you been given a glorious family filled with love? The Lord has blessed you with so much love so that you can share it with those who have never experienced it and through that love show them Christ. YOU are His blessing to the world, just as Jesus was when He made Himself poor. YOU are His ambassador SENT on a mission to reconcile the world to Him…He has not blessed you so that you can sit around and satiate yourself on the seed that He has provided you to sow.
The Bible is clear that “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. But whoever sows generously will reap generously.” 2 Corin 9:6 If you cannot give liberally and cheerfully you might as well keep your love, your family, and your money to yourself. If you cannot wrestle through reluctance or guilt or peer pressure or hypocrisy to get to marked joy when you are giving anything…chances are that those gifts will go no further than temporary satisfaction for someone’s belly that gets eliminated eternally a few hours later. Only when we give fully surrendered with a cheerful heart and a soul that KNOWS it is walking in obedience to Christ, will we see the Holy Spirit take our gift and multiply it into something eternal…ETERNAL. Cause I don’t know about you, but I desire to leave a legacy… an aroma that reaches His nostrils and reminds Him of me LONG after I am reunited with Him.
So unless the Lord asks you to and you can do it with joy in your heart, I do not recommend selling everything you have and giving to the poor… I do not recommend moving to another country and wearing yourself thin trying to change their economy or society… I do not recommend adopting a child or several children… I do not recommend living in the streets to mimic the people you desire to reach… I do not recommend even taking the Gospel to a world desperately in need if you cannot do it in complete assurance of faith. Because without Him, we can do NOTHING and even our best attempt at righteousness is as filthy rags.
BUT!!!! YOU, fully surrendered to Christ with your hand in the hand of the Holy Spirit believing in the unstoppable power of God, are the blessing that others are desperately waiting for. YOU are the Lord’s greatest blessing to a world in need. When you willingly leave your race or your social standing or your money or your temporary pleasures to get down into the dirt with people completely different from you, and you do it with a heart that just wants to love them and show them Jesus, YOU, my friend, are the Creator’s greatest blessing to the world. And I will guarantee that the more time that you spend “making yourself poor” so that someone else “might be rich”, the clearer you will see how “unsearchable” your riches really are in Christ. They will never run out…no, not for as long as He chooses to bless the world through YOU. No one can force this on you, no one can make you feel guilty enough to be truly generous…you will only become generous when you are awakened to the truth that BEING the blessing IS the greatest blessing.
“I will make your name great; and you will be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2b