Figuratively speaking, my guardian angel may have knocked the postman’s hand and caused him to drop whatever he was delivering. Whilst he was picking it up, the angel must have deposited some ‘post’ for me to receive and work on Wednesday last week.
Upon opening the envelope I found another piece to the week’s jigsaw puzzle. Maybe it’s an important piece because what I was blogging on A vision: sowing into the Kingdom of God didn’t flow easily and I was unable to find any notes on the essential reference.
Bear with me, therefore, in revisiting Charlie Shamp’s ideas on sowing into the Kingdom so I can clarify any misunderstanding, as well as to update and look at any scriptural warrant for his opinion:
Whilst watching an open vision of money swirling around him, I half-listened to Charlie as he spoke on the value of sowing into a ministry. He made an unusual analogy I’d not heard before.
The usual pastoral approach is that, like any offering, sowing into a ministry is donating to the Lord’s purposes and we’re paying back a little of what we owe Him. Standing in front of Charlie I recall that “God is a debtor to no-one”, and yet in Malachi 3:10 He tells us to test him in tithing and promises to “throw open the floodgates of heaven”!
However, as Charlie said something that seems radically different to scripture I have reservations and intend checking it the next day. I didn’t do it at the time because he went on to talk in-depth about the availability of the ‘Age to Come’.
He addressed me direct and our gaze locked, “Consider what a banker does when offering a loan: he sets the terms to our taking the loan and expects it to be repaid”. Charlie implies it’s not unreasonable to do that with the Lord; that is, to set terms as well as remind Him of them and to call in the ‘repayment’, as in reaping fruit from the seed we’ve sown.
So I must seek the Lord on Charlie’s claim and check it against scripture. The next day, however, I’m nudged to look for a verse which isn’t directly relevant. But it leads to the answer I need, the notes for which I’ve now found in an email and reading as follows:
…Next morning I looked up ‘Age to come’ in my study Bible and found its reference in Mark 10:29-31 answers my reservation AND the footnote to which reads, ‘Jesus will be a debtor to no-one. The blessings he gives far outweigh material loss and persecution incurred in serving Him’.
Mark 10:29-31 reads: So Jesus answered and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundred-fold now in this time — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions — and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Courtesy Biblegateway.com)
This spoke to me personally in view of my experiences. Furthermore, in the parable of talents (Matt 25:14-30) Jesus instructs disciples to put what God gives us to wise use, to invest and multiply it.
Therefore, I conclude it’s not unreasonable when donating funds to His work to remind the Lord of those scriptures and that we’re entitled to expect the promised reward.
In addition, there’s no reason for not discussing this further with Father as His ‘sons’ and in being quite specific in our requests.
Those verses eased and satisfied my reservations. I hope they may answer your queries too?
NB: This matter is considered in greater depth by Joanne Rolston in That Poor Widow.