Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day Four: Motivation That Lasts & A Key, Final Point

I have two more points yet to make this week, then please stay tuned for a 'where I'll go from here' post tomorrow.

Motivation That Lasts

It can be incredibly overwhelming when we look at the needs of this world- the world's spiritual needs and well as at their physical needs (as we talked about yesterday, we need to find places to give that will address both).

According to K.P. Yohannan,

"4, 845 of the world's 6,912 languages are still without a single portion of the Bible published in their own language!" and "...there are still 1,240 distinct cultural groups in the world without a single church among them to preach the gospel."

A bit overwhelming, no?  And then, if you're like me, any commercial, TV program, ad, article, flyer, picture, etc. that shows starving, orphaned or neglected children sends me running for tissues.  And, I'm known to cry over it for days.

While these methods of strumming up donations are effective, if we allow ourselves only to be motivated by a response to human need (both physical and spiritual), we will burn out!  Both kinds of human need are highly motivational, yes, but they can also wear us down after awhile.  We can become desensitized to those needs because we are so overwhelmed by the magnitude of those dying because of violence and poverty and all those dying without ever hearing the Word of God.

I'm quite the downer today, no?  Well, hang on!

I want to suggest (and internalize for myself) that giving is not only a response on our part to the needs of people, but that, as Christians, it is our privileged participation in the work of God.  We are not attempting to do this work alone, we are allowing ourselves to be used by God, to join in His workOur passion and our excitement needs to be in this!

Tim Dearborn (Director of the Faith and Development Programs for World Vision International) says this,

"...lack of interest in mission is not remedied by more shocking statistics, more gruesome stories or more emotionally manipulative commands to obedience.  It is best remedied by intensifying peoples' passion for Christ, so that the passions of his heart becomes the passions that propel our hearts."

"No wonder the Church and many organizations' supporters are increasingly disinterested in mission!  People cannot handle the relentless exposure to catastrophes and crises.  This is not the gospel.  The gospel is good news of great joy!"

"It is insufficient to proclaim that the Church of God has a mission in the world.  Rather, the God of mission has a Church in the world."

Okay.  Now, if all that isn't enough to give us a lasting motivation to bless others, I have one more thing to add.

Christ is coming back and I can't wait.

For much of my life, this verse always came to mind when I thought of when Christ might return...

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only."  Mt. 24:36

You've read that one before, right?  But have you read these words, spoken by Jesus Himself?

"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."   Mt. 24:14

We don't know what God's criteria will be exactly, but according to Christ, once all the peoples hear about the gospel, "the end will come".  We've got some work to do, my friends.  Not only are we joining in God's work, we are helping to bring it to fruition!

For me, that is some pretty strong motivation that won't be drying up anytime soon.

A Key, Final Point

I have found that people gravitate to one of two circles.

One is the circle that could be called the social gospel.  They are passionate about relieving the hurts of this world.  They advocate peace, justice, and physical aid to those in need.  They take seriously the call to "serve the least of these".  Their example is Christ and discipleship and their eyes are focused on bringing about the Kingdom of God here on earth. 

The other circle has eyes for the life to come.  They look heavenward and are passionate about winning souls.  They advocate preaching the gospel to the world and leading others to Christ so that others may one day enjoy the gift that is heaven.  They are focused on the coming complete Kingdom of God, brought on by Christ's return.

It is my {humble} belief that people that fall squarely in one circle or the other are missing something.  They are missing the truths that exist in the other circle.

Like with so many things in this life, we need to seek balance.  We need our eyes focused on the here and now as well as on what is yet to come- the Kingdom of God that is here in this world and the future Kingdom.  We shouldn't ignore one or the other, for to do so would be missing a big part of the whole picture.

Let's not choose a circle and set up camp, let's bring the two closer together and allow God to use us for His work here and now as well as for his purposes in the future. 

I am proposing that the way we can do this (without heading to the nearest airport sporting a backpack with Bible in hand- yet!) is to live a life that frees up time and funds to further God's purposes- the here and now purpose of blessing others and the purpose yet to come where we will all (in all our languages and modes of worship) will bring praise and glory to God. 

Living simply in order to give. Pin It


  1. Thank you so much for this. We are definitely on the same Page!

  2. I've enjoyed the journey this week. Thanks.

  3. I'm with ya! This has inspired me to dig out my More With Less cookbook (Recipes & suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources) by Doris Janzen Longacre. I'm guessing you might be familiar with it.

  4. I have been enjoying your posts and surprised at how much of what you are writing has been on my mind these last weeks as well. Thanks for the reinforcement and I'll be eager to see where you go next!

  5. I believe that your onto something real here.

    I also believe that 'WE' as Christians need to be more concerned about the life we are living where we are already planted and the simple needs ALL around us.

    Are we even living like that?

    Are we living simple and being good stewards of what he has already given us.

    Just as you've said...
    Living Simply in order to Give...

    It's all part of the seasons in our life.
    the change we go through, the transformation that is made COMPLETE at the end of this life.

    Simply because~

    This life is only the first chapter in the book.

  6. I'm interested to see what you have for us tomorrow! :)


  7. Thanks for sharing from your heart. I've been pondering these same things for several weeks now. I'm reading the book Radical by David Platt. In his book, he challenges us to live authentic, Christian lives as Christ taught His disciples to live - good stuff.

  8. Or you could see this as an illustration of Christ's body: some are called to a certain kind of action, others to prayer. It would be hard to know how to tell someone else to be obedient to God's will, not knowing how He has revealed himself. Our walk with Him is untidy and not like a Venn diagram. Just another idea.


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