Yesterday I posted about our third world luxury.
But something that has been nagging at the back of my mind nearly every time I pray about one of our needs is "What about suffering Christians around the world? Are their needs really being met? If what God says is true (that our needs will be met) why are some of them suffering? Where are you God?"
And He showed me where He is yesterday when I meditated on this passage in Luke. He is right here, in me, and I am one of the ones He wants to use to help meet those needs.
Interestingly enough, if you read the passage in Luke 12:22-34, verse 22 starts off with Jesus saying not to worry about food or clothing because God will provide those things for us. He admonishes us to not let our concern for these things dominate our thinking because our Heavenly Father already knows what we need.
He shares with us that God will give us all we need from day to day if we make the Kingdom of God our primary concern.
He goes on to say "Sell what you have and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven have no holes in them. Your treasure will be safe--no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be."
But, here's the paradox.
Jesus, prior to those last couple of verses, tells me not to worry about the basic necessities of life. This would lead me to believe that perhaps the people He was speaking to really were concerned about food and clothing (aren't we all?) and had some genuine needs.
But He said not to worry about those needs being met.
And this is the hard part (for me, at least). Sell what you do have and give to those in need. When I do that, I am making the Kingdom of God my primary concern.
This goes against human nature. For me, it usually looks more like this (I know, it sounds terrible when you put it in black and white):
- I have a need
- Keep what I have, I'm gonna need it
- Keep praying for what I need and don't actively help my brothers and sisters in Christ around the world
- Fend for myself
But God is saying this:
- I know you have needs
- Give to others who are in need
- I will provide for you
- Don't worry
THIS is why I don't need to worry about what my family will eat, wear, where we will live, or what we will drive. The key here is obedience. (Apparently my 4 year old isn't the only one who struggles with this.)
Now, I don't think Christ is telling us to sell everything we have and go live in a cardboard box. I do think He's telling us not to hold on too tightly to those things and that we do have is to be used for the Kingdom.
I'm guessing though that there are many things around our homes that we could do without that might be a blessing to someone else, or the sale of those items might financially help others in need.
This is an area that I will probably have to work on my whole life, but by God's grace I will continue to grow in this area.
If you'd like to reach out to fellow brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are suffering, my favorite organization is Voice of the Martyrs. (Be sure to sign up for their free monthly publication so you can pray specifically for some of these people.)
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