Luke 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
For those of us who grew up in a third world country, we’ve seen real poverty firsthand. We have seen the people living in miserable conditions, using unsanitary water and daily exposed to an unsafe, unhealthy way of living. Although most of us did not really experience those extreme living conditions, we probably knew someone who did. One of the blessings of living in America is you will experience the opposite of that scenario. We always have clean water to drink, a clean environment to live in, and we get the privilege of living a healthy lifestyle if we desire to!
And until you go out of this country, it is impossible for you to truly understand how the majority of the world lives. And because of that, Americans and other rich nations have taken for granted all the benefits that God has allowed them to have. It is not because we are better than them, actually the best Christians lived-in poverty-stricken countries! The great danger that lies with prosperity is that we tend to take for granted all of God’s blessings to the point that we often even complain about the smallest inconveniences.
A few years ago, I was able to be a part of our mission’s trip to Southeast Asia. I was once again reminded about God’s goodness for allowing me to live in America.
I want to share some lessons that I was reminded of from our mission’s trip.
Matthew 25:14-15 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
God is no respecter of persons and He is always just in His ways. But in His wisdom, He has allowed some people to have more than others. He has blessed us with so much for allowing us to live in this very wealthy country! By the way, there are NO poor people here whether you believe it or not.
Deuteronomy 8:6-9 Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass.
We live in a land that is blessed with abundance. Just like in Deuteronomy 8:9. This passage describes America. It is a land of prosperity, a land of freedom, a land of opportunity, and a land of excess. We waste tons of food everyday not even thinking that more than half of the world don’t even have anything to eat! The number one dream of the people living in those poverty-stricken countries is to own a bike. –Let that sink in for a little bit! And yet, the average American family have garages that are full of stuff, closets that are overflowing with clothes, and so many shoes that there’s hardly any place to put them. Nevertheless, they’re still not content and keep wanting more!
Deuteronomy 8:11-14 Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;
Deuteronomy 8:17-18 And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
Because He has given us so much, we should strive to do more for Him in everything that we do! We should be more faithful to church because of all the freedoms that we have. We ought to be more generous in giving to missions and to the Lord’s work because of the resources that we have. We must be well knowledgeable in the Bible because we have unlimited resource of His Word! We must be sending more missionaries and starting more churches because we have the means and manpower! But in reality, WE ARE NOT! Most Christians are not that faithful to church, they are not that generous in giving to God’s work let alone to missions. The average Christian doesn’t spend time reading the Bible and praying. Christian parents are hindering their children to surrender to God’s will for their life!
I want to challenge each one of us today, we need to be constantly reminded that all the blessings we are enjoying are NOT so that we can just consume it upon our own selves. Because God has given us so much, God will someday require more from us. Let us not waste all the opportunities, resources and privileges that He has afforded to us but instead be the most faithful, most generous, and most willing to surrender to whatever He intends us to do!
Luke 12:.48 For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
The decision of identity determines the direction and end of our conversation or lifestyle.
What if we had to have church in your house? What kind of sanctuary would your home make?