I was just listening to a song by Steven Curtis Chapman about laying down your life so another may live. I believe he was writing about Jim Elliot who gave his life for the tribe in South America in the '50's. Jim Elliot said "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." It struck me how prophetic was his statement. How soon into the mission he gave his life. And I recall that most of the tribe came to embrace the Savior, that these barbaric men are now submitted to the Lord, gentle and free.
In God's "economy" our loss is gain for the kingdom. I read in Voice of the Martyrs magazine of the profound losses that our brothers and sisters in Christ endure in hostile countries and feel like I am sacrificing very little for the Lord. He has given me so much, born in the USA. Health, freedom, abundant provision, a whole family, a wonderful church family...And to think I have a hard time giving up chocolate. I struggle to fast. I indulge myself too much, my Christian CD collection is embarrassing when I have to go through it to find a certain song for someone. I give, but not like the widow Jesus highlighted who gave her all. I think I need an overhaul. Yes, I give my time to ministry (by the grace of God) and to my family. I give some money to causes that the Lord lays on my heart... I'm seeing that the Lord wants me to pray that I will get a greater vision, and desire to give more, to give all for Him.
I walked through Herbergers today, my daughter and I went to restock on our Clinique skin-care. I used to feel guilty buying it, now that I am over the guilt, I wonder, was it really a bad thing? Now I don't think a thing of it. I walked through the clothing department looking at price tags on things I would like to wear...$60.00 for a sweater (I already have a closet full of sweaters) That same $60.00 could purchase over 20 Bibles through the American Bible Society or sponsor 2 children with World Vision. I didn't buy a sweater today, but I did spend that much on one once. I wear it (my 60.00 one) 3-5 times a winter...hmm... Eternal value: zip.
Help me Lord to live by your economic priorities. It all belongs to you and I have taken it for granted. Change me.