Monday, September 01, 2008

Which is more important to God: your money or your time?

On the importance of wealth:

Wealth has played many roles in the Bible. When Jesus sleeps in someone else’s home, holds the last supper in someone else’s upper room, or is buried in someone else’s tomb – they are examples of wealth serving the kingdom. Solomon’s wealth built the temple. New Testament church monies funded Paul’s journeys. It’s easy to find examples where God uses others’ wealth.

On the need for wealth:

God makes it clear that he is wealthy. As creator of all things and knower of all things, he has endless access to resources, including money and anything else. So the question is not that God needs money – as tautologically God needs for nothing. God will use your money for his glory. But, be aware that if no one gave, God’s plans would not fail.

That seems like common sense.

The real question is about substituting time for money. I know a woman who believes she is not called to go and make disciples. She believes she is called to fund the going and making of disciples. Could she be right? Is the great commission on for a few of us? Does her gift fulfill her obedience? Let’s see.

Some reasons she might be wrong:

If you are scared that God will not take care of you, than the risky work of the Great Commission would be scary. Naturally you would find a way to send someone else to do it.

If you were attached to your pleasured life, than the dirty work of the Great Commission would not be appealing. Naturally you would find a way to send someone else to do it.

If you are lazy and don’t like the hard work, than the weighty work of the Great Commission would be repulsive. Naturally you would find a way to send someone else to do it.

Finally, Jesus didn't give options:

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Matthew 28:16-20

Some reasons she might be right:

If there are no farmers, how do we eat? If there are no pilots, how do we travel? If there are no soldiers, how do we protect?

Perhaps contributing financially to something makes you part of it. When she writes that check, she takes away from her family to help the cause. That is a type of sacrifice.

Let's face it, paying your way out of service is lame. I can't come up with good arguments for it. God cares about your time. Your time. Your time. Your time.

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