The brokenness and pain in our world can be overwhelming. If you’re attuned to it, the wars, violence, poverty, racism, addiction, mental illness, division, and sin can slow you to a halt, unsure of how to process it in your own life and how to bring hope and healing to our hurting world.
As Jesus was preparing His disciples for His death, one of the darkest moments of their lives, He said:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
He was preparing them for a world without His physical presence, one very similar to the world we find ourselves in today, but He made sure they knew that the Holy Spirit would be with them, that they would not be alone, and that He would use them to usher in His Kingdom on earth.
Throughout the Gospels, we see stories of Jesus challenging the status quo (Mark 7:9–13; Matthew 23:27–28), lifting up the outcast (John 4:4–26), reframing perspectives (Luke 12:13–21), and calling people to a new level of surrender (Mark 8:35). His parables taught of faithful stewardship (Matthew 25:14–21) and caring for the stranger (Luke 10:25–37); His call was one of full devotion (Matthew 6:24), where the peacemakers, poor in spirit, and persecuted inherit the Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:3–12).
Just like the disciples, we find ourselves in a world that desperately needs Jesus. He sacrificed His life so that we could experience full life and be agents of restoration and reconciliation:
“But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 16:7)
By the power of the Holy Spirit (the Advocate), we can live lives that change the world. What does it take? A faithful step in generosity and surrender.
Throughout the More than Money series, we’ve explored how to put God first in our giving. But why? So we can be free from the grip money can have in our lives in order to be part of bringing transformation to the world.
Just like the parable of the talents (Matthew 25: 14-21), God has entrusted each of us with possessions and positions to use for His purposes. Whether your first step is to become a Compassionate Giver, finding ways to support those in need through the Dollar Club or Compassion & Justice efforts, or you are ready to be a Catalytic Giver, fueling God’s work above and beyond the 10% tithe, God has a plan to shape your heart and use your offerings to build His Kingdom.
Over the last two-thousand years, the Church, while deeply flawed, has been part of building orphanages, hospitals, schools, places of worship, and charities. Billions of lives have changed because individual Christ-followers made a decision to open their hands to give so that others could be blessed.
As our world breaks, will we rise to the occasion? As we each take steps to love God, love people, and change the world, we can collectively create a world where God’s Kingdom comes on earth as it is in Heaven.
Take time this week to seek God, asking how He might want to use you. For what good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit their very self? (Luke 9:25)