The Currency of Things
The Currency of Things
Words of Faith 10-3-18
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
The material world is usually the first place we humans think about to count a cost. But for Jesus material things were further down the list. There is a family cost and a cost of our selves but there also is a cost of discipleship in regard to finances, possessions and material goods-- the "stuff" of the earth.
So is this the part about "tithing,” giving ten percent of everything back to God? Actually not. Tithing is more an Old Testament concept symbolic of God's full ownership. Jesus didn't talk much about tithing. He only mentioned tithing once or twice (Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42) and in each case He chastised the religious people for building their sense of security on works, including tithes, while neglecting justice and mercy. But in each case, Jesus also commended the tithe and said it should not be neglected as a principle and tool (Malachi 3:10-12).
The truth here is that discipleship does not require a tithe, it requires EVERYTHING. Jesus did not ask for 10%, He asked for 100%. Jesus did not ask for contributions, He asked for everything we have. Jesus was very clear that until one has committed everything to Jesus, one is not a disciple. The call of Christ is to commit everything to God, recognize His ownership, and prayerfully steward (manage) His provision according to His principles and leading.
The reality is that until we make this basic transition, an acknowledgement of ownership, we are still attempting to be lord of our own lives. We are called to surrender everything and then consult with God regarding every expense in the same way a company employee manages the assets of a business. We are to return to God what He directs us to return. We are to invest what He directs us to invest. We are to give away what He directs us to give away. We are to save what He directs us to save.
Does this mean that we are all to sell everything and give it away? Only if Jesus tells you to do so. Rarely did Jesus direct those he encountered to sell everything. Jesus once directed a wealthy ruler to sell everything he had and give the proceeds to the poor (Luke 18:18-23). But this was a specific prescription for a man who had allowed money to become his god.
Jesus regularly spent time with wealthy people such as Lazarus, Mary and Martha of Bethany, Joseph of Arimathea, Joanna and Susanna and He never asked these people to sell everything. Apparently, these folks managed the blessings of God and made His resources available for His use as needed.
Following Jesus costs everything. We are called to surrender everything to Him and then listen as He directs the management of His things. Have you resisted God in this area? Have you held back or held tightly the things entrusted to you by God? Perhaps now is the time to become a disciple.
Father God, it can be so difficult in a material world to surrender everything. Give me faith to trust You for the things needed in my life. Give me strength to surrender all. Give me eyes to see and ears to hear as I seek to manage Your possessions. In Jesus' name.