Summary: As the believer grows in the discipline of giving, he helps build up the kingdom of God on earth.
“For we are God’s fellow workers” - 1 Corinthians 3:9 a (NIV)
Former head of the California Baptist Foundation, Cecil Pearson relates the story of how one morning, he was standing near a construction shack in a new subdivision in Sacramento, California, where the California Baptist Foundation had a joint venture in the con¬struction of new homes. He thought he was totally alone. Since it was Labor Day and just at sunrise, he did not expect any workers to be around. But to his surprise, the double garage doors on a new home next to the construction shop began to rise. He turned and saw the foreman of the job walk out of the garage. Before he could speak, he said, a young boy about 6-8 years of age, following the foreman, caught his attention. The man had a piece of heavy timber on his shoulder, balanced almost in the exact center, and the timber lightly rested on the shoulder of the little boy, who was walking behind him. The boy, dressed in his overalls, had a nail pouch on. His ham¬mer was almost as large as he was. Knowing who they were, Pearson laughingly said to the little boy, "Son, what in the world are you doing?" He said, “He looked up at me and responded with a bit of indignation, ‘What does it look like I am doing, Mr. Pearson? I am helping my daddy build this house.’”
That is essentially what Paul said is true God’s children in this world. We are God’s fellow workers. We are to join with our heavenly Father in building his kingdom in this world.
As we have talked about growth in giving, we have said that growth in giving means personal growth and church growth. Today, I want to conclude this series by thinking together about how growth in giving also means kingdom growth.
Every member of God’s family is called to work with their heavenly Father in building His kingdom here on earth. That was the calling of the old testament saints, and it was also the calling of the saints in the early church. It has been the calling of the saints through-out history, and it is the calling of the saints today.
One can’t help but be reminded of the words of Mordecai to his niece Esther: “Who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” -Esther 4:14b (NIV)
Indeed, this is our time in history to contribute to the growth of God’s kingdom on earth! What this means is that . . .
1. We are called by God to an exciting adventure.
When God called Abraham, He called him to an exciting adventure that would impact the entire world. When God called Moses, He called him to an exciting adventure that would impact the entire world. When Jesus called His disciples, He called them to an exciting adventure that would impact the entire world. When God called Paul, He called him to an exciting adventure that would impact the entire world. And today, as God calls upon us to give our time, talents, and treasure to be used in the building of His kingdom through the ministry of His church, He is calling us to an exciting adventure that will impact the entire world.
I like the name given to the program for missions involvement designed for youth called, “World Changers.” I like that name because that is exactly what God is calling each of us to become through obeying His call to grow in our giving—He is calling us to become “World Changers.”
I once had a boy ask me a very grown up question. He asked me how he, one little boy could be used of God to change the world. I told him that if he would simply give to God what God had given to him, the Lord would take and use it to accomplish His purposes; and like a pebble tossed into a pond, the ripple effect of what was given would eventually impact the entire world.
In the same way, if you and I will give to God what He calls on us to give to Him in terms of our time, talents and treasure, just like a little pebble can impact an entire body of water, so our giving can impact the entire world! God is calling us to an exciting adventure, indeed!
2. We are called by God to an exacting lifestyle.
“Now it is required that those who have been given
a trust must prove faithful.” - 1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV)
As ones who have been called into partnership with God in building His kingdom on earth, we must be faithful to use all he has entrusted to us in the best ways possible. This requires discipline. Indeed, part of discipleship is growing in the disciplines of giving and stewardship.