Recently, I became aware of research being done on the effects of radio waves on migratory birds. The results seem to indicate that certain frequencies have the potential to disoreient our feathered friends so they can’t find their way to wherever it is they are going. In the research, AM radio waves were among the culprits — yet another reason to listen to FM, I guess.
Are you a spender or a saver? Do you look for a bargain or ‘always buy the best’? We seldom consider how our financial choices reflect the kingdom that we most identify with.
Many years ago, Theo Johnson (who was our dentist at the time) was at his monthly professional meeting. As he and his peers sat chatting over lunch, they began to discuss their various investment portfolios. One shared that his money was in the stock market, another was invested in a variety of properties, another krugerrands. Some looked over at Theo, who had remained quiet, pondering their question. “Theo, what are you investing in?” His answer has had an eternal impact on my life. Theo responded with just one word–”people”. Continue reading Spend or Invest?→
Ten years ago, in the days running up to my fiftieth birthday, I made it known to my husband that I wanted a jeep for my birthday. I saw myself as a ‘jeep’–more of an off-road kind of person, and thought that an SUV was just my kind of vehicle. I voiced this request–lets say, enough to be heard. One evening, as the church was gathering in our living room, I sat down and began to quiet myself in preparation for worship.
“For the poor you always have with you, and whenever you wish, you can do them good.”~Jesus
Jesus, in His walk on earth, said that He did what He saw theFather doing. When He encountered something that was contrary to the way of the Kingdom, He often reversed the plight of the afflicted. So, it is an interesting comment to consider–that the poor will always be among us and that we can choose to do them good. Matthew 25:31-46 shares that in our extension of grace, we might be actually ministering to Christ Himself. You see, the poor are among us to catch our attention.
There are two kinds of poor. There are those who are rich in faith (James 2:5) and those who, in their time of need, turn from their true Provider, and live in independent suffering. When Jesus came, modeling dependence upon His Father, He lived without the temporal benefits that are offered by the kingdom of this world (Matthew 4:8-9). He chose instead to identify with His poorer brethren. With this ‘distressing disguise’, walking in the image and likeness of the least, He showed us how to be fruitful and multiply for the sake of His Father’s Kingdom.
The poor–those who have learned that they are truly dependent–theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. They are the ones who can teach us how to cast our cares upon the ruling King in Glory. Those who thought themselves to be rich in Laodicea, were called to repent, declare their need, and dine with Him.
May we find Jesus today in the helpless places. May our cry of dependence open the door to provision. May our faith grow in this time of need.
When I started the process of studying the economy of
the kingdom vs. the economy of the world, my intention was to address what I considered ‘foundational’ topics first. In doing so, I started off with “The Nature of the Two Kingdoms”. We are so used to navigating only what we see with our natural eyes, what our senses can see, smell, taste or touch, that we have paid little attention to the systems and structures overseen by the prince of darkness. In that first study, when I asked, “What is the difference between the kingdom and the church”, I found out how little thought we have ever given to the topic of KINGDOM. We have shared the gospel of salvation and invited people to come to church, but know little about the gospel of the Kingdom, where Jesus invites us to partner with Him to go to the world. After that first ‘ground-breaking’ study, I began to look at God as Creator–where He establishes His ownership, and then at God as Provider–where He establishes His nature and character. In both Old and New Testaments, we watch the lessons of provision unfold. Lessons are continually a part of God’s nature and character as both Father and Provider.
Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. And the sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we say by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.”
When we consider the pattern of God continually ‘testing’ us concerning provision–don’t interpret that to mean that He will always proceed provision with ‘lack’, in order to see if we are as ‘grumbly’ as Israel was. God doesn’t test for the purpose of failing us, but to tutor us into the ways of His Kingdom. We have lived so long in the same manner that the world lives, that often, our faith has become corrupted. I believe I have picked up on one of His ways through a story I read last Sunday in the newspaper. There was a story of a young woman who had gone to Uganda and saw the plight of young women trying to get an education in that country. She came home with a heart commitment to make sure at least a few of these women received the needed funding. Instead of raising funds/money from friends, she came up with an “inspired idea” for starting a business that made a unique sandal. Martha Stewart saw this “idea” and featured it in one of her catalogues, and success multiplied overnight. I don’t know if this particular story concerns a Christian seeing a need and then meeting that need through an “inspired thought”, but it should certainly be a lesson for us concerning His ways. Jacob claimed to have an “inspired thought” (Genesis 31:1-13) and God used this for a transfer of wealth from Laban to Jacob. We see Joseph given an “inspired thought”–and provision is secured for the known world.
As you look in your corner of the world, perhaps there is a level of provision that you have yet to see. It is not coming as money, but as a “seed”–an inspired thought. Pay attention, and see what the Lord might accomplish.