Cara recently shared this powerful post on her blog…
shared by Cara Murray
When I think about meeting Jesus I think about it terms of when I go to Heaven and meet Him there. I rarely think about Him coming here. In fact I think I’ve only thought about Jesus’ return to earth a few times, but I was reading Mark a few days ago and came across Jesus’ words in Mark 13: 32–36:
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son but only the father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away. He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back – whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he come suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
This makes me think. This makes me think about how we spend our time and money. Do we spend our time and money wisely? Do we spend it in a way that would make our Father smile? Do we spend our time and money in selfish ways? Are we spending our time with the poor, lonely, sick and orphaned?
If we are not spending our time or money in a way that brings glory or honor to God, it surely isn’t due of lack of direction; it is purely on our own selfish ambition. The Bible is extremely clear on what we are to do with our time and money. It is stated over and over:
James 1:26-27 “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself religion and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
Leviticus 25: 35 “If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him….”
Luke 12:33-34 “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heave that will not be exhausted where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Romans 12:13, 15 “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
2 Corinthians 8: 13-15 “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: ‘He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.’”
I could give hundreds more examples of how we are to live our lives, but the main question is: Are we living in a matter that Jesus would applaud? Or are we living in a matter that Jesus would condemn? Do we put off service for another time or do we serve everyday, all day? What would Jesus see us doing if He came back right this minute? Would you be proud of what He saw or would you be embarrassed?
I suppose many of these are rhetorical questions. The answer is that we are absolutely not living in equality and we are not living in a way in which we would want Jesus to see us. I can say this because it is true. The fact that many people in America and other parts of the world have more than one house or upwards of 4, 5 and 6 cars while others don’t have water, shoes or food proves my point that we are not living in equality. And to be honest, I can’t actually think of a viable reason why this is ok. There is absolutely no excuse or reason that can convince me that the inequality we live with in this world is justified. I think Jesus would be appalled at the way we are living.
Maybe some people would just say that this is the way the world is and that is that. Well, that is crazy. We have all the control in the world to change this. We may not be able to change it on a global level, but on a personal level we are in complete control. The choice is ours: $200 dinners for ourselves or education for 200 children in the Sudan, our new $40 pair of shoes (and let’s be honest that is one the low end) or 40 pairs of shoes for kids in Kenya, $500 water filters for our houses or safe, clean drinking water for a village of 500 people in Indonesia? The choice is entirely ours.
On a non-tangible level, are we rejoicing with those that rejoice? Are we mourning with those that mourn? Or are we too wrapped up in our own lives that we haven’t even noticed those around us that are rejoicing or mourning? Do we sit with those who are full of sorrow or go to the mall? Are we crying with our friends who cry or meeting somebody out for drinks after work? Are celebrating our family and loved ones or celebrating ourselves?
Nkumba is not a perfect place by any means but it is the place where I have seen the gospel lived out the most. People who have very little share with those who have nothing, and they trust that Jesus will provide. People here come along side of the sick, take care of their children and visit them at the hospitals.
People here drive their neighbors to clinics and help pay for medical bills when their kids come down with malaria. My friends here give up buying new clothes for themselves to buy clothes and shoes for the kids. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a lot to learn from these people. The truth is that I have a ton to learn. I am not sure I entirely know how to live a life of equality but I pray that I never lose sight of the importance of this and what the Bible calls us to do. I know that I don’t always spend my time in a way that is pleasing to Jesus and I’d be embarrassed if He came back to see that. I pray that each day I am here I learn a bit more about serving the poor, the widow and love the sick. I think this is something we all need to learn more about.
But the question remains: Are we living in such a way that makes Jesus want to come back to this place?
Cara, I am ministering in South Africa and this challenge is staring me in the face and changing my life day after day. I am praying about it, thinking about it, blogging about it, struggling to handle the magnitude of realizing the American church tithes about 2% on average, and only 2% of that two percent goes into making a difference overseas. Even if everyone just tithed we could end world hunger! Lord help us be the change!
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