Today, in the concluding part of the series on how our Heavenly Father's perspective varies with respective to that of finite intelligent men of the World, we come to two more related subjects...


Lay-up...

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24)

Now how is this possible? One steeped in human rationale may ask for in the Worldly realm, more you save, greater your savings, fatter your bank balance and so on and so forth? Let me herald the fact once again that impossible is possible only with God (Matt 19:26). Now hear this testimony from a horse's mouth (Yours truly). When I was about a quit a lucrative, highly paid job to take-up full-time spiritual ministry in answer to the Master's call eleven years ago, several questions popped up in my mind with regard to my future charity? Well, I was supporting some Christian ministries financially, when I was holding a job. Would or could I continue doing the same being a full-timer also was a question which creased my forehead before I took that "leap of faith"? Truth to tell, by His Grace and empowerment alone my financial support to Christian ministries increased much more after coming to Full-time Ministry. Why? Did I solicit funds and get them? never! The Lord provides faithfully by "stirring up the hearts of men" (Exodus 35:21– the cornerstone verse of George Muller's peerless orphanage ministry). It is indeed true that a Christian's Bank balance at the end of the day may not be "overflowing" but his spirit will become richer with time, even as his "Heavenly Bank account" will be swelling with the laying up of treasures in the place that matters most (Matt 6:19-20). Hmmm...what happened to manna which the Israelites wanted to "hoard"? Much to their chagrin, got infected with maggots (Exo 16:20)! But the same manna "laid-up" in a bowl inside the Ark of the Covenant (in the presence of the Lord)...mind you with no addition of preservatives...well...well...well...I can only shout Hallelujah remembering once again what the Saviour said "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" (Matt 6:19-20). Oh to look at "Heavenly Investment" as the Heavenly Father does!!!

In Ministry, the golden rule is "If you run after Jesus, all the needed resources come 'chasing' you". But tragically if one runs after money, he would eventually find himself stranded "high and dry" (1 Tim 6:9). Shipwrecked…ah that's the word!!!

When it comes to Charity, we can be either like clean waters of a "flowing river" or like that of a dirty, stagnant pond becoming a perfect haven for mosquito breeding (sic). Repulsive as it is, the sight of a dirty pond...our lives would appear as such in the eyes of one with a 20-20 vision, if we resort to "hoarding" greedily in the Earthly vaults instead of storing them in the "Heavenly" ones'. By the way are not flowing clean waters revered to the point of worship in our Country? In this connection, we need to tell our countrymen lovingly that the Creator alone needs to be worshipped and not His creation.

Lay-down...

"For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
(Matt 16:25)

And when it finally comes to the crunch! After our time is up and done on Earth! Take my word, by then we would have completed all of the divinely ordained purposes in our life (John 21:15-19). Now with martyrdom with all its attendant implications of physical agony looming large before us, what ought to be our response? Thankfully we should accept martyrdom (Romans 14:8) laying down our physical lives for His glory...fully believing that "sunset" (our end) in one place is actually a "sunrise" (a glorious beginning) in the other. Incidentally if our martyrdom inspires some brethren, strengthening their faith, then so be it. Didn't somebody say "aspire to inspire, even when you expire". By the way, how can a Christian discern, his time is up and it is time to cede to his killers' without any struggle? The indwelling Holy Spirit is the teacher in all matters including this dicey issue (2 Peter 1:14).

Finally, for those who are willing to lay down their life at the altar, the reward by way of a Crown promised is not one of incorruptibility (I Cor 9:25) or rejoicing (I Thess 2:19) or glory (I Peter 5:4) or righteousness (2 Tim 4:8) but paradoxically the one of Life (Rev 2:10). Hallelujah!!! No wonder that great martyr Jim Elliot observed "He is no fool, who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose". Hallelujah.

Oh even to see "premature" death (in the sight of myopic World) wrought by martyrdom, as the Heavenly Father sees it!!! A matter of great joy for the person concerned in the Eternal perspective (Philippians 2:17)!!!

Prayer: Father, may we at all times have the wisdom to view those sacrifices made for Your glory as "gain", though the World may view it as "loss". In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

(To access the entire 20/20 Vision mini-series, please click here.)