This week's devotional is from Pastor Jeff Mazzariello.
ENCOUNTER: Read Matthew 25:14-30
"...For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them." Matt. 25:29
This is a pretty dramatic teaching of Jesus. But he repeats it in various ways throughout his ministry. Here is what he is saying: Those who seek to make investments in the Kingdom, for themselves and others, will become richer in the things of God, and those who neglect or squander what is given them will become impoverished, losing even what they have.
Our investments of ALL that we are and ALL that we have will bring huge "Kingdom Gains." The alternative is to see ourselves and our world increasingly spiritually impoverished.
Our church had the joy of making one such investment on Sunday as we hosted a Compassion Sunday where we partnered with Compassion International and we were given the opportunity to sponsor a child. This child sponsorship, which is one small Kingdom Investment, produces such huge gains! What we love about this ministry is that it only takes one of us to change an impoverished child's story. When you watch the video above you get such a moving picture of what Kingdom investments can look like to a broken and hurting world. This is way it works in the Kingdom: We bring our offering to the King and he multiplies it into gloriously beautiful riches. If you didn't see that video above link here to check it out.
We have the strategic mandate as God's people to invest. Invest our money. Invest our time. Invest our gifts. Invest our love. We strategically invest both "near" where God has put us, and we strategically invest "far" away where they don't have the resources we have to make a difference.
Reflect on this question: Would you consider yourself an "Invested" person?
BE A BLESSING:
Sometimes it can be pretty overwhelming trying to figure out how to invest in this huge, messed up world with so many needs. If I were to over simplify it, this could be a way forward: 1) Simply pray and ask God for his heart and leading. 2) Brainstorm one way you can invest in loving the people among whom God has placed you. 3) Brainstorm one way you can invest in the lost and poor in the far off places that so desperately need our intervention if there is going to be any hope.
Of course, this is way over-simplified. Maturing as one of the King's servants is sure to include conducting a pretty rigorous inventory of how you are choosing to live your life: where your money goes, where your time goes, what gifts God has given you to use, who you spend your time with, etc. etc. May we have the courage to go on such a journey with Jesus into all those kinds of questions.
Walking together with others as you process this way of Kingdom living is bound to produce a wealth of insights and inspiration. What about having a conversation at the Thanksgiving table this week that will initiate some reflection and sharing? Why not ask your family to go around and share not only what blessings they are thankful for, but also where they suspect God has been inviting them to invest in the Kingdom? I'm going to do that. It will unite us around the richest way of living.