Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)
- TITLE: God's Housing
By Allen Scovil
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"Because it isn't all about you."
"What do you mean by that?"
"The good things God prospers us with in this life aren't rewards for a job well done, and when he makes us struggle, it isn't to punish us. He loves us too much to be that cheap."
"Then why should I bother being good if there's nothing in it for me?"
"Oh, but there is. Jesus talked about servants who were given a bit of cash and told to make something of it. The ones who succeeded got rewards way out of proportion to the profit they made on the money."
"So I'm in it for that reward?"
"I'm getting confused."
"Listen, it was the devil who got us to believe that we have to come out on top in the rankings, you know, first in line, head of the class, nobody remembers number two, that sort of thing. But Jesus told us that, to be the first, we have to be the lowest."
"What's that got to do with rewards?"
"Nothing whatever. You've still got it backwards. God isn't a boss who needs employees to get the job done, to make a profit and share the proceeds. He's already got it all; so, nothing we can do can make Him any richer materially. There's only one thing he wants, and there's only one thing he doesn't have enough of, the hearts of people like us. And, if you're perfectly honest with yourself, that's all you want too."
"I think you've lost me. What's this got to do with your prosperity message?"
"If God gives me lots of money and goods, he wants me to use them to win those hearts for Him. He has no interest in me getting bigger and better toys. There's no profit in that for Him."
"Can't I have some of those 'toys' though?"
"Why the heck do you think you want them?! To get people to notice you and be your friends! In other words, you're using God's stuff to make your own profit on the side. That only means that you don't trust Him, your master, to treat you, His servant, well enough. You think he's too cheap; so, you'll do it yourself. Fine servant that makes you."
"Hey, now you're getting personal. I have to have some friends."
"I know; but, I'd rather have the friends He provides me than try to buy my own."
"I suppose. What about my cabin?"
"Have your cabin if you want to be alone; but, as for me, I'm going to need that mansion for the abundance of friends I'm intending to invite over."
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'...use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.' Lk 16: 9, NIV.
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