Storing Up Treasures
My husband and I do not presently own a house. We live on one income because we feel God has called me to stay at home in order to invest in and raise our children. Therefore we do not have a ton of money. By American standards, we are not wealthy. However, by the world’s standards, we are filthy, unbelievably rich.
However, this seems to be a hang up when people hear that we are not only adding another child to our family, but adopting. Presently we are waiting at #11 on our agency’s waitlist for a infant boy, and we have a 2 year old biological boy.
Shouldn’t we not have any more children until we own a home? Shouldn’t we not spend the money we have on an adoption until we have a lot of money in savings? Until we have a nice little nest egg? As well as “emergency” funds that are filled to the brim…just in case?
It makes me sad….overwhelmingly sad.
What has happened to the state of the Christian mindset when the possibility of needing an “emergency fund” of money in the bank is more pressing than the life of a child, abandoned and alone? That a lonely and scared child should wait until we store up our treasures in a bank?
As Christians, we have stripped down Christ and what he stood for into some self-help Guru. Your Best Life Now! 10 Steps to Prosperity!
Many quickly turn the page when Christ talks about how hard it is for a rich man to enter heaven, that we are called to live selflessly, to meet the needs of the poor and orphaned, to follow him with all we are and all we have… because isn’t it so much more enjoyable to focus on the parts of scripture where it talks about Christ being our comfort, meeting our needs, and being our helper?
The reality is that like the rest of the country, Christians have become so obsessed with comfort and stability that we are terrified for Christ to stretch us, to refine us, to push us, to make us uncomfortable. To live radically for Him. But this is exactly what we are called to do.
In Matthew 6 Christ calls us to store up treasures in heaven:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Our treasure? Christ and the children he has created. I do not see a greater emergency in this world than a child without a home. A child who most likely will die alone from poverty or Aids. Our money can sit in a bank waiting for some emergency or it can become life in in the form of a laughing, cuddling, child.
Is it even a choice? Really think about that…when everything is stripped away it comes down to Life or Money…how is that even a choice?
Believe me, I am so far from perfect in this area. To be brutally honest, for a very long time I was obsessed with putting money into our savings account. It was just my thing. It brought me pleasure to see the numbers rise. It made me feel comfort. Now, as more and more money goes towards the adoption and other outreach efforts and I see those bank account numbers get lower and lower…fear sets in. My heart races and all the what-ifs start pounding away at my resolve. I have even sat there crying like a big baby because following God’s call is so uncomfortable sometimes. But it is in those moments where I feel a whisper in my heart:
Do you trust Me? Do you trust My call and provision in your life? Do you trust my Word?
Yes God, yes.
Then put it into action. Let your life reflect Me. Faith without deeds is dead.
So I go back to the scripture, back to God’s word, back to the truth…over and over again, and learn to truly rely on and trust in God.
Like a tightrope walker across two high buildings, we have to focus our eyes on Him and his Word. If we look down, if we take our eyes off Him, we are going to fall.
I will leave you with the beginning of Chapt 4 in Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love. Be challenged with me today- be uncomfortable.
Chapt 4 is about this scripture found in Revelations:
14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” -Rev 3
Chapter Four: Profile of the lukewarm
Crazy Love, by Francis Chan
“It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.[ii]”
“Lukewarm people give money to charity and the church… as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living. If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so. After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right?[i]”
“Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act. They assume such action is for the “extreme” Christians, not average ones. Lukewarm people call “radical” what Jesus expected of all His followers.”
“Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go, or how much time, money, and energy they are willing to give.”
“Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts and rarely try and give as much as possible to the poor. They are quick to point out, “Jesus never said money is the root of all evil, only that the love of money is.” Untold numbers of lukewarm people feel ‘called’ to minister to the rich; very few feel ‘called’ to minister to the poor.”