For the majority of Christians in America, serving God will never lead to worldwide fame, writing best sellers, or ministering to hundreds in foreign lands.
Regardless of the work to which we are called, there is hardly a Christian who cannot give; and when that giving is done in love, it exemplifies the greatest sacrifice ever made for mankind: the death of Jesus on the cross.
Called to Fill the Gap
Dr. Charles Ryrie made a powerful statement about love and money that lays bare the truth of our devotion. “How we use our money demonstrates the reality of our love for God. In some ways it proves our love more conclusively than depth of knowledge, length of prayers, or prominence of service. These things can be feigned, but the use of our possessions shows us up for what we actually are.”
God calls each of us to fill the gap in order to spread His Gospel to all parts of the world.
Like Esther, every believer must decide either to be used of God or to be bypassed and allow another to be chosen instead.
Giving so that God’s servants can take His message throughout the world, like tithing, is an outward material expression of a deeper spiritual commitment and is an indication of a willing and obedient heart. “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Funding the Great Commission
We have enough money in North America to fund all the Christian work in the world if the people of God would just give.
Although the desire to give may be there, most Christians in America are so caught up in making more money and buying bigger and better things, or paying for the things that they already have, that they have lost focus of the unsaved world.
In essence, the Gospel has literally become shackled because money needed for worldwide ministry is tied up in personal debt and large monthly payments. “The one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22).
According to the Global Evangelization Movement in 2001 there were 212 million Americans who identify with Christianity. This represents approximately 660,000 households.
The combined household income of these Christians in 2001 was approximately $27 billion. Of the 660,000 households, roughly 120,000 gave to missions in 2001.
Since 2000, approximately $39 million is given annually to help support 285,000 American missionaries, service agencies, native pastors and Christian workers, tent-making missionaries and mission organizations, humanitarian missions efforts, and sending organizations.
This is an average of about $300 per household annually.
A Primary Purpose
One of the primary reasons why Crown Financial Ministries has been brought into existence by God is to teach people God’s principles of finance so that they can be free of debt in order to help fund the Gospel of Christ worldwide. “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6).
Once Christians become financially free of personal debt, we believe that they will have a greater abundance with which to fund the Lord’s work to the “remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
In 1832 William Carey, the “father of modern missions” said, “I was once young and now I am old, but not once have I been witness to God’s failure to supply my need when first I had given for the furtherance of His work. He has never failed in His promise, so I cannot fail in my service to Him.”
Carey gave so that the Gospel of Christ could be preached throughout the world, and God rewarded him all of his life. “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure–pressed down, shaken together and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).
The very best investment a person can make is an investment in the kingdom of God. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Though the main reason we should give to missions is to fund the work of the Lord around the world, there are also benefits to us. (1) We remember that He is the owner of all we have, and we are only managers; (2) The spread of His Gospel can be advanced throughout the world; (3) We are blessed spiritually because we know that we have realized God’s calling for each of us as Christians to “stand in the gap”; and (4) We might be blessed materially.
This last benefit was so elegantly described by the great 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon while addressing a home missions inaugural conference at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in south London in 1889, “In all of my years of service to my Lord, I have discovered a truth that has never failed and has never been compromised. That truth is that it is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to out give God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I gave.”
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