"LUKEWARM PEOPLE are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the god of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God." p. 77
Recently, I read somewhere... it might have even been this book... that if you make over $45,000 a year, then you are considered to be in the richest 2%-5% of the WORLD'S POPULATION. How's that for perspective? The irony, of course, is that, depending on how many kids you have, making ONLY $45,000 a year in the United States puts you in a class of people that are eligible for state and federal aid... financial, medical, food. This is where I find myself right now. Recently, my husband took a new job... a job that barely pays more than that "magic number" of $45,000. Add to that the fact that we have three children... a house payment, a car payment, college loans... it becomes exceedingly difficult to think of ourselves as rich, especially when Mac n' Cheese and peanut butter and jelly are weekly menu items... sometimes daily menu items. But, then again...how many people in this world would LOVE to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat? How many would not only refuse to complain about eating that sandwich everyday... three times a day... but would thank God for the blessing.
HOW DID WE GET SO MESSED UP?????
We live in a society that harps on retirement, savings, college plans... and I'm not going to say that those things are bad, but...what happens when we prioritize them over God... giving for the sake of His kingdom? How many of us feel that giving is great... as long as everything else is "taken care of" first? We are willing to give all that is left... but is that really enough... our leftovers to God? Has your gift to God ever come at a sacrifice? Have you ever given your retirement money, your savings money, your grocery money? How about your monthly coffee shop money... I didn't say it would be painless!
One of the things I've learned this past year is that trusting God is an adventure. The more I trust, the more He blows me away. The more I give, the more He gives back... not necessarily money for money, but He definitely gives back in other ways... better ways. Last night, the class I was leading was studying about how our citizenship isn't in this world. It's in heaven. If that's true, then why are we playing by the "rules" of this world? Hoarding money, thinking of ourselves first... God and others if there's anything left over. If our citizenship is in heaven, then God should come first. Maybe we should takes some risks in our life now... and it's okay to start with baby steps... putting God first... sacrificing our existence, our comfort, here on this earth... but preparing for a eternal citizenship in Heaven!
I think this is my favorite sermon by Francis Chan. I've put pieces of it up here before. I'd like for you to watch the first five minutes again... but feel free to watch the whole thing. It reinforces today's blog and gives us a HUGE dose of perspective!