Accumulation vs. Distribution – Using Possessions Generously

Christ teaches us in Matthew 6, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

The lure of materialism is blinding. Chasing comfort through a greater income or fancier belongings  can bring worry and anxiety, and lead to self-centeredness. As C.S. Lewis said, “Prosperity knits a man to the world. He feels that he is finding his place in it, while really it is finding its place in him.”

Without Jesus, we all exist in a state of spiritual poverty. In Christ we receive everything and can experience true riches for the very first time. Since it is our hearts’ tendency to accumulate, we must learn to fight the short-sided mentality of what our money, time and the things we own mean to us.

Distributing through acts of generosity allows us the opportunity to no longer waste our lives in the pursuit of earthly treasures. Here are a few unique examples of ways other Christ-followers have leveraged their earthly assets to serve God and store up heavenly treasures by meeting the specific needs of others: 

Using Possessions to Alleviate Needs Within the Church

But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? – 1 John 3:17

“In 1879 Charles Spurgeon’s congregation, on the occasion of his silver wedding, presented a purse containing 6,000 pounds of sterling to him (the equivalent to an average person in Britain’s wages for several years). He immediately divided the money between the Orphanage, Pastor’s College, and other institutions he founded.” – from Spurgeon’s obituary

Using Possessions to Meet Needs Outside the Church and Across the World

For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. – 2 Corinthians 8:9 

A little over a year ago, the town of Possum Trot, Texas (population: 700), decided to do something for their children in need. Although many of the families in the town face their own financial hardships, 25 families from Bennett Chapel Baptist Church decided to help the children with what they did have, and opened up their homes to provide foster care for 76 children in need.

Using Possessions for Gospel-Advancing Purposes

At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison. – Colossians 4:3

John Wesley lived and preached “that Christians should not merely tithe, but give away all extra income once the family and creditors were taken care of. He believed that with increasing income, the Christian standard of giving should increase, not his standard of living. He began this practice at Oxford and he continued it throughout his life, even when his income rose into the thousands of pounds, he lived simply and quickly gave his surplus money away. One year his income was over 1400 pounds. He gave away all but 30. He was afraid of laying up treasures on earth.” – Charles Edward White

Kevin Wilder

Posted on: March 28, 2014 - 1:34PM

Comments are closed.