HEARTS AFLAME: DIVINE CALLING AND PROVISION
What is in Your Hands? What is in Your Bank?
By BISHOP KUAN KIM SENG
Then the Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” – Exodus 4:2
We begin this devotional by raising a simple question, ‘What would we think of an employer who sends his workers on an assignment but does not provide the means needed to accomplish the task?’ Would we say that he is a reasonable and therefore good person?
When the Lord Jesus gave His Church the Great Commission, was He asking us to serve the Father’s will and glory with our own means? Of course not, as we know that God is always good, and therefore He must have made ample provisions for His Church to do so.
The chief provision that God has given to the Church to fulfil the Great Commission is the gift of the apostoloi (literally ‘sent ones’), best translated as ‘missionaries.’ But missionaries and missions enterprises need to be funded, and sadly, we often see severe inadequacies in this regard. Is God at fault?
Of course not! Actually God has provided more than enough to accomplish the task. The problem is that many in the Church are not discipled in the area of living out God’s financial plan to accomplish the work that He gave to us.
God’s financial plan for the Great Commission comes in two parts, the first being the tithe. God claims exclusive ownership to the tithe; ‘it is holy to the LORD.’ (Lev 27:30) In Scripture, when something is classified as holy, it simply means that it is set apart for God’s designated use. The support of the Levites and priests was one of the chief uses of the tithe. In the New Testament, this usage was transposed onto ‘those who preach the gospel’ (1 Cor 9:13-14); in short, full-time church workers, including and especially the missionaries, as they are the cutting edge of the Great Commission enterprise.
The second part of God’s financial plan to facilitate the Great Commission is the freewill giving. When we return God’s tithe back to Him, we in effect are giving Him nothing at all! The tithe is God’s wisdom in shaping us into true givers. Giving begins after the tithe is returned to God.
The Lord Jesus added a twist to freewill giving by teaching us – no, He actually commanded us – to lay up treasures in heaven. (Matt 6:19-21) When we give to serve God’s purpose here on earth, we are actually laying up treasures in heaven.
The next time when we pray, i.e. talk to God, about the Great Commission, and surely we should do this often, we will hear him asking us, as He asked Moses of old, ‘What is in your hands?’ To be even more specific, the question would be ‘What is in your bank; in your financial portfolio?’
May the Holy Spirit of God stir up our hearts and hands to lay up treasures in heaven, to the Father’s eternal praise and glory!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR :
BISHOP KUAN KIM SENG is a retired Anglican bishop, who had served as the Director of Missions, and also as Dean in St Andrew’s Cathedral. He is also a member of SCGM advisory committee.
SCGM 40TH ANNIVERSARY DEVOTIONAL CAMPAIGN
40 FRiends of SCGM have been invited to take part in our 40-Day Devotional Project to help raise funds for SCGM’s 40th Anniversary. Each day starting 20 November 2020 to 31 December 2020, SCGM will publish one devotion written by our 40 FRiends in our FundRaising effort and celebration of God’s goodness and provision over the last 40 years!
Through their devotional reflections, we pray that our FRiends of SCGM40 will bless and encourage many to reflect upon God’s Presence, Protection, Provision, Purification and Power in Missions.