Living on God's Economy – Part 3

July 31, 2009 by Paul Chappell

economy3Living on God’s Economy—The Mission of the Local Church is Worthy of My Investment

I love the local church! I praise the Lord for the opportunity to have been raised in church. God used my many Sunday school teachers, each sermon I heard, the church camps I attended—every aspect of the church to influence and shape my life. Even as a child, He used the local church to give me a desire to live with eternal values. Today, I’m thankful for the love and fellowship of my church family. I’m thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of something so awesome, so needed, so eternal as the local church.

Do you love your church? Thank God for the many ways the local church has benefited you—salvation, spiritual growth, opportunities for service, help in directing your children’s hearts to God—the list is long.

The Mission of the Local Church
Your church has the responsibility of reaching every person in the community with the Gospel of Christ. Christ has commanded His church to “Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled” (Luke 14:23). What a joy to be a part of such an awesome responsibility!

But the mission of your church doesn’t end in your community. Christ also commanded the church to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Five times in Scripture this command to reach the entire world is given. We call it the Great Commission.

Fulfilling the Great Commission, both in your community and around the world, does not hinge primarily on finances. It requires the power of the Holy Spirit working through each Christian’s yielded life. Only the Holy Spirit can convict the lost of their sin and of their need to trust Christ. Only the Holy Spirit can use us—sinners saved by grace—to make known the wonderful salvation He freely offers.

But the work of God on earth cannot happen without resources, and God has chosen to bless His people that they might sustain His work. This gives us the incredible opportunity to be a part of  lives being changed through the power of the Gospel. We get to invest in the greatest financial investment of all time!

Your Love for Your Church
Even in the Old Testament, God gave His people the opportunity to invest financially in worshiping Him. When He delivered them from slavery in Egypt, He miraculously parted the Red Sea, but when it came time to build the Tabernacle in the wilderness, He did not miraculously create it. He wanted His people to invest in the project, because He knew that when they invested their money, they would also invest their hearts.

Sometimes people ask me how they can develop a greater love for the work of the Lord in their church as well as on mission fields around the world. I always give them the same answer—give more, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:34).

The Eternal Impact of the Church

Giving to charities and non-profit causes may be appropriate and helpful at times. Remember, however, that the local church is the institution that was given the Great Commission, and giving through the church is the best way to see eternal fruit for your giving. The church is capable of providing much more than humanitarian aid; it brings people spiritual truth—God’s simple plan of salvation. Jesus Himself gave His life for the church: “…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25).

Investing in the ministry of the local church is the greatest investment you could ever make. It is both a worthy and rewarding investment with eternal dividends. In God’s economy, the local church is the ultimate investment firm.

( Adapted from Living on God’s Economy—Available from Striving Together Publications)


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