December 23, 2013 Leave a comment
In Luke chapter 12: 35-48 Jesus tells a parable about men waiting for their master to return home from the wedding feast. The men are to be ready to open the door for their master when he knocks — regardless of the time of day.
Peter asks if the parable is just for the disciples or for everyone.
Jesus answers by describing the actions of a wise manager who portions out food to the household at the proper time. Such a manager is blessed when his master finds him behaving so. Jesus then contrasts the wise manager to one who, with disregard to the return of his master, mistreats the other servants and eats and drinks until he is gorged and drunk. This kind of manager does not fair well upon the master’s return.
Jesus concludes the parable this way…
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required…”
Everyone who is a member of the household of God is expected to serve the master with the gifts he or she has been given. And, the ones who have been given much are expected to serve more.
Dear believer: Our God-given talents and abilities have been given to us by God. They are His and are to be used for His purposes. In the west we have been blessed by God with financial wealth on a scale the world has never before seen. This is a fact and it begs some questions…
- Is our wealth a gift from God?
- Do we really regard it as His and not ours?
- Do you think God will hold us accountable for how we’ve managed His money?
- How do we think we will fair if the Lord returns to find us spending on ourselves the money He entrusted to us?
Those are uncomfortable questions, aren’t they?
Consider this: It is not unusual for churches in the United States to spend millions of dollars on building programs. Did you know that it costs about $5,000 to build a very simple meeting hall for believers in Ethiopia? Do the math — the money used to build a church building in the U.S. that costs $7 million could build 1,400 meeting halls in Ethiopia.
These kinds of facts force me to ask myself which is more important…
- …for me to have a shiny new sanctuary with padded theater-style seating and jumbo-sized multi-media screens or for my brothers and sisters in Ethiopia to have a place to meet that is out of the wind and rain?
- …for me to have the trendy new electronic gizmo or for the children of indigenous missionaries in India to get an education?
- …for me to have a newer model car so I can “get around in style” or for the pastors of northern India to have bicycles so they can get around at all?
These questions are not merely speculative. They represent real needs of real brothers and sisters in Ethiopia and India. Dave Black, a professor of New Testament and Greek at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, has been engaged in missions in these two areas of the world and constantly challenges the readers of his blog to become involved in missions. He has pointed out that it takes $420 a year to support one full-time native missionary compared to the $50,000 it takes to support a western missionary.
It is easily within our power to financially support indigenous missionaries (like Ram Mohan).
If you are interested in supporting missions in this way, contact Joel Bradsher via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Brother Dave Black has pointed out on his blog… “Folks, this approach just makes sense.”