19 Apr The Journey of Generosity
This past weekend Kristen and I had the chance to experience a J.O.G. No, we didn’t run around the neighborhood, this was an event sponsored by an incredible ministry called Generous Giving. J.O.G. stands for Journey of Generosity. We had about 90 people in our J.O.G. from our church. In short, it was a refreshing and invigorating challenge for all of us to give and invest our time, talent and treasure that God has entrusted to us, completely and totally to God and his purpose.
A testimony was given of a doctor here in Austin that felt the conviction from the Lord to live on 25% of her salary and give the rest to missions and the church. Another business group in Oklahoma shared about setting a cap on their salaries and committing the rest of their profits to God and his work. That was an exciting story too. These men had an extra $50,000 of profits to give back to the Lord after their first year in business. The next year that number grew to $150,000. They eventually grew to the point where they were giving 1 million dollars per year to missions. One of the salesman challenged the group to set the goal of giving away 1 million dollars back to God every month. They grew the business and eventually achieved that goal. Last year this company gave 20 million dollars to God’s work and signed over a company worth 250-300 million dollars to an organization committed to the cause of Christ. Amazing!
As we pondered God’s word, and heard the stories of these ordinary, but not so ordinary Christians who are willing to lay it all on the line for Christ and his cause, I was deeply moved. One of the testimonies was that of Bill and Vonette Bright, the founders of Campus Crusade for Christ, and the ministry Kristen and I were discipled and trained by and served with for 14 years. Bill made a contract with God in 1951 to give his whole life for the fulfillment of the Great Commission. Such resolve, such conviction resulted in millions of lives being forever changed by the gospel. J.O.G. challenged me personally with a couple simple but potent questions: 1) Do I view my wealth and income as belonging to me, and to be used only for my purpose? 2) Do I really believe the Bible when it states that everything I have comes ultimately from God? And, 3) Am I living as a steward of Gods resources, or acting as if I am the sole-owner? How we answer these questions makes a ton of difference in our ability to live generously and with purpose.
As it pertains to serving the global church in accelerating missions, a key point must be made: the key to unlocking the mission potential of the global church is NOT a ramped-up recruiting effort for more missionaries! No. That is only part of the equation. It will take a commitment on the part of all of God’s people to live generously, far beyond what we have become comfortable with if we want to massively impact the world for Christ. A radical reassessment of our wealth and income is required. The whole church must be mobilized to fully embrace the full scope of gospel and its implications. What if the whole church lived as if the work of proclaiming Christ and making disciples was paramount? What if the whole church lived with this kind of wartime lifestyle? Imagine the potential. Generous Giving is sounding the call not just to be generous, but to give ourselves wholeheartedly to the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing greater than that, and nothing more joyous.