BILL OF CITIZENSHIP IN THE KINGDOM
Part 4 of 4
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In the western world, the last thirty years or so produced many multimillionaires and even many billionaires. Just suppose you were one of them. Imagine encountering an impoverished family. Their situation, for some compelling reason, really burdened your heart and moved you to act. You deposit one million dollars in the nearest bank in an account under the householder's name. Then you visit the family, present the bankbook, and delightfully inform them of the unconditionally given gift. You wait for their reactions, hoping so much they believe you and will act in faith to avail themselves of your gift. You see smiles of gratitude and acceptance on their faces, but not jubilation. The head of the family explains, "I do believe you and am so grateful and overwhelmed. I don't deserve this and did nothing to earn such a tremendous gift. But please forgive me. I cannot walk and am very weak, confined to this chair. I cannot use your gift without help and strength from another. I have no money or items of value to invest in anyone's services." After providing that person with access to unimaginable abundance, would you now say, "I'm sorry to hear that. That's too bad," and walk away?
Of course not! That would be an absurd notion. Ten or twenty dollars would easily buy the services of a taxi or transport service. After investing a million, ten dollars is mere pocket change! This frivolous expenditure, however, will enable that person to use your life saving gift. You wouldn't hesitate to squeeze that insignificant 10 or 20 dollar bill into the person's hand to empower his acceptance and use of your wonderful gift.
Now consider this…Would that man, after receiving a bankbook for a million dollars, now exclaim, "I just cannot believe it! You are actually giving me 20 dollars for a taxi?! No, this cannot really be happening. This 20 dollar bill must be a dream!"? Preposterous. Of course he would not marvel more over the 20 dollars than the million. But, in the spiritual world, we do all the time!
Our God made an infinitely huge investment in us through His sacrifice of Jesus the Christ. We didn't ask for it, we didn't expect it, and we didn't pray for it. We learned of it through the personal sacrifices and shed blood of multitudes of Christians who lived before us. And we must remain unbroken links in that chain of spreading the Good News so our children and theirs will inherit the same legacy given us, regardless of the adversity or price we might be asked to endure. Strangely and sadly, however, many are not impressed with this overwhelming and unearned gift. Instead, they are more impressed with God's "pocket change."
Healed of illness? Blessed with renewed financial income? Delivered from adversity? Perhaps you were even once blind and now can see after prayer. In the relative scheme of things, from God's perspective, this is equivalent to quarters, dimes and nickels in your pocket. All is trivial compared to the gift of Jesus the Christ and His Holy Spirit!
A little child may ask his dad for a hundred-dollar bill. The child has his fingers crossed in a good luck gesture because his faith isn't strong at all that dad will quickly turn over a hundred bucks. And he isn't surprised when dad questions him on the request. But many children ask, "Hey dad, can I have a nickel?" And dad reaches into his pocket and pulls out a bunch of coins and, without question, in loving delight, hands over not just one nickel, but a few plus a dime or two. The child had all the faith in the world that his father would do that. After all, his dad loves him and it's just pocket change. But it is such a wondrous delight to his child's heart!
A mustard seed is very tiny. No bigger than a small case letter in the 12 point Times New Roman font I'm typing right now. But a mustard seed does grow into a huge, strong tree. Interestingly, Jesus said that if we had the faith of just a tiny mustard seed, nothing would be impossible to us. (Matthew 17:20.) Jesus is hinting that it takes a lot less faith than we think in God's willingness to shell out spiritual pocket change, compared to what He has already deposited in our spiritual bank account. Weak? Tired? Fearful? Sick? Doubtful? Disbelieving? Tell God, and He'll hand you, without hesitation, some pocket change to enable you, to strengthen you, to get you to the place where you can freely drink that free, Living Water.
Psychologists and educators often say something like, "He is so gifted and capable. But his lack of self-confidence and faith in himself keeps him from exercising those capabilities." There is an equivalent in the spiritual world. We listen to satanically inspired lies such as, "It takes a tremendous amount of faith to get through this or to get this prayer fulfilled. I just don't have it." Satan invests his total being and full resources in this spiritual war. Jesus just says, "The faith of a grain of mustard seed is all you need." Nickels and dimes to God. He is holding them out to you. Like a faith filled, delighted child, pick it from His hand and go invest it in His kingdom. Like we dads on earth, God is so delighted to delight the hearts of His children. Call Satan a liar and rest your faith in Christ…The equivalent of a grain of mustard seed is all you need for miracles to happen. And that's just pocket change for God.
John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
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Weekly Reflections © June 22, 2000
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