The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
Psalm 24:1 (NIV)
We are ready for our next stop on the journey to Palpable Kingdom Presence, and this stop may be one of the most critical of all.
When we ask ourselves how we are really going to witness palpable kingdom presence in our midst, we quickly conclude it is going to take a people who will steward their resources well, living modestly, so that they can share their resources and be very generous with others. This is what Luke describes at the end of Acts 2 – an extremely healthy, close-knit community who knew each other’s needs and knew how best to share their resources so that no one would be in need. It is one of the most visible signs that we are filled with God’s Spirit when we can share like that with others.
Unfortunately, we face two major challenges to witness that kind of palpable kingdom presence in our day. First, we lack close relationships with those who are socioeconomically different from us. I had a friend who was saying terrible things about the welfare program in my country and those who were on it. I then asked him how many people he knew who were on welfare. He didn’t know anyone. As I have been blessed to walk closely with those who are materially poorer than I, I have come to appreciate how extremely hardworking many of them are and the challenges they face that I never faced. I have also been able to listen to their dreams and jointly identify effective ways to allow those dreams to become reality.
Second, we are not adopting modest lifestyles or stewarding God’s resources well. We are living like the Gentiles even though we were told we shouldn’t. Many people question how they can be more generous. It starts with intentionally choosing to live modestly. Such a decision will bring much greater joy than all of the toys in the world could ever muster.
Let’s become good stewards so that we can become well-known for our sharing.
This is the first in the “Steward and Share the Resources” series of blog posts on our Journey to Palpable Kingdom Presence.