- How People Grow (9/2009)
- Victory Over the Darkness (12/2011)
- The Meaning of Marriage (6/2012)
- Praying Life (2/2012)
- A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (12/2012-1/2013)
- Revolution in World Missions (1/2012-1/2013)
I greatly enjoyed this book written by K.P. Yohannan, the man who founded Gospel for Asia, a ministry that equips and sends national Christians to the unreached people in the 10/40 window.
Yohannan does not hide the fact that his book’s aim is to garner financial support from readers for GFA. He is unashamed because he adamantly believes in the cause and that Western Christians will be blessed when they give to support missions.
Western Christians have been blessed with TREMENDOUS affluence, which is unfortunately often hoarded and not recognized as being an important tool from the Lord. Yohannan asserts that with its affluence, the role of the Western Church is to be the financer of moving the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
God has recently convicted me that my mentality of “Money=Bad” is incorrect. Financial blessings are definitely from the Lord and are an asset to the spread of the Gospel to the unreached world. The problem is when we do not share our wealth, and instead use it to build up lives of comfort and frivolity. In keeping up with the Joneses we are missing out on God’s plan to use every facet of our lives (yes, including finances) to make disciples throughout the world.
So how are we spending our money? Does our budget reflect a heart in pursuit of God or one that has bought into the (appealing) lies of this world? Will we hoard our wealth and spend it on ourselves, or like the Macedonian church, will we be commended for our “rich generosity,” “giving as much as we were able, and even beyond our ability?”
(Side note: the Macedonian church was commended in this manner, but it’s also noted that they gave out of extreme poverty. An excess of finances is not a prerequisite to giving sacrificially.)
And most importantly, why do we give? As with love, we give because God first gave to us. He gives us every spiritual blessing; He gave His Son so that He could spare us. We give because we trust Him. We trust that He does not call us to radical giving so we can be poor and miserable, but because there is greater joy to be found in Him when we live lives of sacrifice reflecting the life that He lived.
Anyway, this is getting extremely lengthy (sorry– soapbox issue), so I’ll end with a paraphrase of one of Yohannan’s stories (though read the book as he puts it much more eloquently/powerfully):
Imagine you are in heaven. You are swept up in the beauty of seeing God face to face. You notice behind Him, there is a line of saints, saints you do not recognize from life before. The first saint approaches you and you embrace. “Brother, who are you?” you ask. “I am the first of many who were saved because you financed missions in my country. Without you we wouldn’t have been saved.”
Let us give to the things that matter! Let us fulfill our call to make disciples with our lives and with our finances! And may the things we spend our money on last and not be things that burn away.