Part VI of the “Green Christian” Series
Krinda Joy Carlson
If I had a million dollars I would…
This thought constantly goes through my head.
When I see pictures of starving Children.
When I walk by the homeless (which is everyday).
When a friend or family member is struggling.
I always think, If I had a million dollars I could do so much to help!
The thing is, I AM called to help, but I DON’T have extra cash just floating around. In fact, we’re all called to use our money and possessions for God and to bless others!
WE HAVE ENOUGH
I always look at what I have financially and feel as if I can’t do anything with it to make a difference in this world. The thing is, God doesn’t think the way I do. Let’s look at how God views peoples’ rendering of possessions and money…
It was a mega church, catering to the rich and famous. If you had the money, you got a better seat, more recognition, and the pastors knew you by name. Instead of quietly passing around the offering bucket at the end of service, this church had a large urn by the entrance where the attendees threw their contribution in. The louder the sound, the bigger the offering. Along hobbles a small woman, shrouded in old, slightly torn clothes. Clearly, she had scrubbed and cleaned them as much as possible, but still the stains from use stood out. As she passed the offering bucket, she discretely took out two small coins. Looked around. Ashamedly, she dropped them inside, trying to be silent about the meager gift. Little did she know, there was someone who had been watching everyone pass into the temple; this “someone,” in fact, was the only One who matters! His name was Jesus. As she passed on, He said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others; all these people gave out of their overflow, but she gave out of poverty all she had to life on.” Her two coins may not have gained her a seat up front, or a name-to-name basis with the pastors of this mega church, but it did gain the recognition of Jesus. (Luke 21:1-4, Paraphrased)
It’s not the quantity of our gifts that Jesus recognizes, it’s the quality. This woman gave what she had, and I believe God used her two coins for something HUGE! We have enough to do something big if our hearts are big – if we’re willing to give what we can. God does not just want us to stock-pile our bills, but to maximize the potential and allow the green-stuff to be multiplied.
God sees things differently then we do because, well, He’s GOD! What we see as minuscule, He sees as potential. Take, for example, the story of the little boy who gave up his lunch…
The day was hot. Thousands upon thousands were sitting in the grass on the hillside, listening to Jesus teach. To make matters worse, stomachs were starting to grumble, but no one wanted to leave. Jesus took an intermission to confer with his disciples. “Feed these people.”
“Master, we have nothing. Even if we did, we could never muster up enough cash to feed all them,” they replied.
“They cannot go hungry. Go see what DO we have?”
The disciples went around, and brought to Jesus the offering of one young boy – five small loaves of bread and two fish. They held them up to their Master and flinched – “This is all we have.” Jesus gave thanks for the offering anyway! While the all the disciples saw was a few pieces of bread and some fish, He saw the food as potential to accomplish His plan. After Jesus prayed over the offering, the disciples distributed it to over 5,000 hungry people. After each had eaten his or her fill, there were still TWELVE baskets of left-overs. This all happened because a young boy did not his small little offering. (Mark 6:30-44, Paraphrased)
What gets me about this story is that Jesus could have just rained down the food from heaven. He could have turned all the rocks in the field into bread. Instead, He took the offering of a young boy to fulfill His purpose. God wants to use what we have! He wants to take our green, and recycle it into something that multiplies time and time again. When we surrender our money to Him, and give even when it seems minuscule, He maximizes its potential!
DOING THE MATH
So, this is the challenge God gave me: He’s asked me to set aside $10 a month, to start with, for an offering. Whatever He leads me to give it to or use it for that month, I believe He will expand to make a bigger impact than I can even imagine. Here’s the thing, God gave me this vision that if we EACH gave $10 a month as an offering, we could change the world! I mean, we all can afford $10. Just buy three less Starbuck drinks a month, one less movie ticket, bypass a few unnecessary snacks and, BAMB, you’ve come up with an extra $10 to give. What if just 10 people decided to take up this challenge?
I’m no math Genius, but 10X10 = 100.
What can $100 do? ONE DOLLAR is all it takes to feed a starving kid for a day in Africa. At $1 a meal, $100 dollars feeds 100 malnourished and dying children. On average, it takes $30 a month to sponsor a child and provide him or her with food, clothing, and schooling – so with $100 we could provide three children with a whole new LIFE! Now, imagine if 1,000 people joined the challenged!
1,000X10 = 10,000
This is what I mean by saying that through $10 a month, we could change the world. For creative ways to give overseas, see www.worldvision.org. You can save your $10 for two or three months to make one of the bigger donations. Or, simply begin impacting your neighborhood by feeding the homeless or providing necessities for an elderly neighbor.
I may not have one-million, but I have ten dollars…
In God’s hands, the meager offering of my green is the ultimate re-useable resource