What Is The Proper Use Of Funds?

by Doug Perry
(Luke 12:13-21, Luke 14:8-14, James 5:1-6, I Timothy 6, I Corinthians 4:6-21, 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, and more!)

If you have ten credit cards maxed out and you want to pay them off, you start by paying off the ones with the largest interest rate first, right? Then you move up the chain to the ones that don't hurt as bad until you get them all paid off. If you have one at 0% interest, you don't mess with it at all, if you don't have to.

God's math works the same way. The plan for us should be to go help those in the most need first (permanent, eternal need and tragic, immediate physical needs).  In America the average person gets an offer or opportunity to hear about the Gospel over 500 times per year. In many countries, a person may have a 10 minute window ONCE in their whole life to hear the Good News. Over a billion people have never even once heard the name of Jesus spoken in their presence. Every year millions die without Christ. In America, no one can say they never had a chance.

In terms of poverty, the poor in the U.S. live like kings compared to the devastatingly poor in Delhi and Burma and Haiti and a million other places. They would love to trade places with our poor! No one can statistically argue otherwise with any honesty. Especially if you've seen it first-hand. Where would you rather be a girl and be an orphan? China, Iran, India? Or Canada, USA, England?

So whether it's their eternal soul or their physical body, logic says that first and foremost you care for the worst off - and then (in order) you help the Very Poor, the Somewhat Poor, the Poor, the Slightly Uncomfortable - and you never spend a dime if you don't have to on the Got-More-Than-Anyone-Could-Ever-Really-Need-But-I'm-Still-Dissatisfied. 

Then those reached can be an example of success and maybe they can even help as we move up to reach those in the next category. There are lots of devastatingly, oppresively poor churches that are sending out missionaries and being obedient with what little they have.  Are we as good an example?  At the rate they're going, it won't be long before China is sending their missionaries to the West.

Jesus had the largest heart for the most impoverished. He took the most care and attention with those rejected by the rest of the world. The Christian church in America has often done the exact opposite. In Revelations 2 and 3, Jesus speaks to the seven churches.  He gives them an encouragement and then a rebuke - except the poor churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia who were obedient despite limited resources.  For them there is only blessing and no word of judgement.  The worst judgement is against the rich church of Laodecia in Revelations 3.  At the final call, which kind of church will Jesus judge yours to have been?

If we are to lust after and covet something, it should be reward in Heaven where it can't rust or be eaten by moths or stolen by man.  As for me, I want to see who is building the largest pile of Heavenly reward and then I want to buy stock in them. I want to be a part of whatever they're doing and help any way I can.

We're often told there are just two options; make lots of money and be controlled by it -or- make a tiny bit of money and learn to live simply.  But there is another choice - make lots of money and live simply and then invest the excess into the Kingdom.  If God has blessed you with skills and assets and talents, use them.  He's going to expect a report on how well you invested it so as to maximize your return in Heavenly treasure.


Copyright Doug Perry 2004. Use freely - but without charge and without changes. Link to: www.fellowshipofthemartyrs.com

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