Many are already being financially challenged, and there seems to be little hope on the horizon for things to turn around. The situation is ideal for us to learn how to walk out our faith with respect to community support.
This is a critical issue. Jesus amplified the conflict for Lordship by emphasizing, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” He went on to conclude, “You cannot serve God and mammon.” Perhaps you will read Matthew 6:19-34. There is no timelier message for us to internalize.
As much as we would like to believe that we love God with all our hearts, and are committed to serving Him with our entire lives, mammon – material matters – have ways of monopolizing our thoughts and activities. We w ill focus upon worldly issues unless we discipline our thoughts. How will Father lead us in these practical matters?
There are many similarities between our day and the early days of the church following its birth at Pentecost, A. D. 33. Can you imagine more than three thousand people, many of them visiting Jerusalem for the celebration of Pentecost—“Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs.”
No Holiday Inns. No McDonalds. Travelers by foot, without much in the way of financial reserves, find themselves parts of an entirely new creation and community. No jobs. No church in their home place. What to do?
Is it any wonder that those who believed were together, and had all things in common? While they may have hoped to get some inkling about the future, it wasn’t going to happen in an hour or a day.
We who have been raised in the security of our normal circumstances have no idea how we will react when our circumstances change and we find ourselves out of control. Hopefully we will do what our brethren did in that day—find ourselves together in community, selling our possessions and goods, and dividing them among all as anyone had need.
We should be practicing organic life in community, both on local levels and also on a global level. Our challenge is even greater. We are not all in Jerusalem! We have not been raised in a culture of hospitality and servitude!
Yet, in one way, our challenge is easier—if we believe and act—because we do not need to be caught by surprise. We can prayerfully prepare! We can become communities that include hospitality and servitude as our kingdom culture.
I pray that you and your community will be proactive in discussing these matters, even establishing minimal structures necessary to steward resources on your local level.
The believers in Jerusalem freely and willingly brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. We see the extension of the apostles’ servant leadership when they appointed seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, over the business of caring for the widows. Such needs are to be administrated in each local community.
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In every Economy there must be a Medium of Exchange. In the Kingdom that medium is Love.
Money is just one of the tools to express that love. There is also Prayer, Care, a physical touch or Kiss, the Sharing of Goods, the Provision of Services and the free exercise of Spiritual Gifts. True Love does not begin until the Giver has no expectation of a return on investment (ROI).