Many people show no interest in finding cures unless they get the disease. In fact, most of us find it difficult to be concerned about things when we haven’t felt the impact of them on our own lives. This evidence of our sinful nature shows up in our Christian giving. We often give to projects in which we have a personal interest – a church bus, for instance, if we’re in a group that would use it. But what about the special needs of a missionary in South America, or ministry needs of a church in Europe – how many of us are energized about those things?
God does not expect us to have crisis-level concern about each identifiable need in the world. Our energy spreads just so far, and we would be exhausted if we tried merely to know about every need, much less lose sleep over all of them. What God does expect of us is to care about the big picture. He wants us to get a feel for the needs of the kingdom beyond our own lives, and perhaps let ourselves get just a “little bit overwhelmed” by what the Lord is passionate about all the time. Then He wants us to dig into our resources, which are really His, and give to meet big-picture needs.
Ezra 2:69 says that when the Israelites began to return from Babylon to repopulate their land and rebuild their temple, they gave according to their ability, not selfish causes of his own, but “to the treasury for the work.” The picture Ezra paints is of the commitment of the people to the entire work. Some would make the decisions and others would do the work. No one person could attend to every need. What the Lord’s work needed were many people committed enough to the big picture to give to the treasury from which those needs would be met by others.
According to their ability, they gave to the treasury for the work sixty-one thousand gold drachmas, five thousands minas of silver, and one hundred priestly garments. Ezra 2:69 (NKJV)
Christian stewardship is about the kingdom of God, not just your own neighborhood, your church field, or even your country. The “kingdom of the world” will become the “the kingdom of our God and of his Christ” someday (Rev. 11:15). We should be giving to make the gospel of the kingdom a reality around the world today.
For if the willingness is there, The Gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. 2 Corinthians 8:12 (NIV)
Written by: Robert Simms