It's been a few weeks since I last posted and it seems longer. On the trip, to Ethiopia, I had some many thoughts running through my mind, and I wrote some down and didn't others. If you are interested go to the other blog and read more about it.
In Ethiopia it is very easy to connect with the illustrations in the Bible, because their way of life today is not too much different than it was in Jesus' time. Obviously there were no cars there and no electricity, but much of the people live pretty close to the way they have live for literally hundreds of years, save the modern clothing.
The over arching thought that has stuck in my mind for almost the entire trip is the thought of "leverage". In business, traditionally, there is a lot of leverage that takes place to increase your position in any given area. It might look like; you leverage- or borrow against- your house to increase your business value so that there are more opportunities in the future. You might lose your business and your house as well, but you also might triple your business and pay off your house sooner. It is a risk that many have taken and done very well, and some have crashed.
The type of leverage I am thinking about has nothing really to do with business per se, it has to do with us- personally.
Each one of us is uniquely gifted by God to do work He has planned for us to do from eternity past. I can't do what you can do and you can't do what I can do. Not because we are individually so special, but God equips each one differently. I can't go and talk to the natives in the huts in Ethiopia about the Gospel, because I don't speak their language at all. But I can do something to help those who already know there language but have no financial means to do it.
So what might leverage look like in our lives? In Matt. 25:14-30 Jesus tells the parable about the master giving the servants talents. When the master returns he is expecting that they have leveraged what he had given them and increased his position. Like us, they didn't have anything to put in from the start; the master gave it all to them. We have nothing that He did not give us, but He expects we will do something with what He has given us. The master rewards the servants who increased his position by giving them more, but to the one who did nothing with what he was given, he was cursed.
We need to think outside our little boxes and think BIG. Whom do you know that the Holy Spirit is calling you to talk to? What are you waiting for? The perfect opportunity won't come until you open your mouth and then amazingly, God will somehow make it the perfect time to say something. We might not get another chance to talk to them.
Leverage for the Kingdom looks different than leveraging money, in that the "winner" in this world's system is trying to end up with the most. In God's economy, the "winner" is the one who, at the end has nothing left but Christ; he has used/spent himself for the Kingdom and has only to wait to be taken Home.
How can you leverage "you" for God's work? Are you a home-schooling, stay at home mom? When was the last time you invited non Christian, home school family over to your house for lunch? Sure, it will disrupt your schedule a little, but it will be worth it.
Are you a student? When was the last time you told your teacher you were praying for them? When was the last time you told the kids who pick on you that you love them and are praying for them? When was the last time you went to the old folks care center, with your friends, and helped out?
All that we have is from the Lord. It is on loan from Him and He expects us to use it for HIM. He expects us to get a return, somehow, on what He has loaned us, and if we don't He is not going to be happy. We want our Lord to be excited about what is going on in our lives. He does the work. We need to ask Him to continue to do the work so that we can be changed.
In Ethiopia I said many times "God is Good" and their constant response is "All the Time". If they can say that, we must as well.
Go spend yourself for the Kingdom.