Giving As Worship 1/30/18
Posted Tuesday, January 30th, 2018 at 2:10 PM by Andy Tucker
Our generosity will rise and fall in proportion to our perspective on eternity. If we desire nothing more than what the world has to offer, we will struggle giving generously. If we have our sights set on spending eternity in the presence of our greatest treasure, we won't cling to any earthly treasure.
What in the word would possess someone's heart to spring forth with joy as their things were taken and destroyed?
Hebrews 10:32-34 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
We (maybe I should say I) have a very light view of Christian suffering, especially in view of how Christians have and do suffer for Christ's sake, both globally and historically. Imagine if, in the United States of America, people were put in prison for professing faith in Christ. Not only that, while other Christians were on their way to minister to their incarcerated brothers and sisters, they turn to see a God-denying, Christian-hating mob vandalizing and looting their homes and businesses and burning their possessions in the street. What do you imagine would be their disposition toward this?
There was a time, for the audience the writer to the Hebrews has in view, when this scenario, played out in real life and produced joy. Spend some time thinking about that. What in the word would possess someone's heart to spring forth with joy as their things were taken and destroyed? What in the world would have so captivated them that they would prioritize the ministry of the Gospel above anything else?
The answer is clear from this passage— nothing in this world would or could produce joy when everything you have is being taken from you. Only knowledge of and hope in an eternal inheritance can do that. He says you know "that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven." That sounds a lot like the last few verses of Psalm 16 to me...
Psalm 16:9-11 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Only by resting in hope of the promise of a joy that could not be any more full, pleasures that last for no less than eternity, in the presence of God in Christ will we be willing and able to give everything we have (or lose it) with other-worldly rejoicing. It is so important to how we live this life to know and believe the Word of God.
Father, please give us heart's eyes focused on eternity and the blessings that await your people there. With that in view, would You cause us to live radically free from the love of and desire for earthly possessions, stir up a spirit of thankfulness and gratefulness in us, and cause us to stand fully on hope in all that You are for us in Christ so that we would be a radically generous people, for Your highest glory and our greatest good. In Jesus name, amen.
To the praise of His glorious grace,