What would people get if you gave them your valuables? An investment, diamond ring, tennis bracelet, Rolex watch, full-length mink coat, an expensive car? Other material possessions of much value? A lot of us would gladly accept any one of them…especially if given away! I’ll take a diamond ring I can’t afford! A tennis bracelet I’ve never had! I’ll take the Rolex watch! Matter of fact, I’ll take them all! Greedy, huh? Yes! But here’s what I would do! I’ll keep some, sell the others for some cash on hand and even do the pawn thingy if necessary!
People don’t give away their valuables! They may “will” them to a relative, but give them away–it’s just not popular. So folks live without them! They can’t afford them! But that’s okay! Not that there’s anything wrong with material possessions, but give me valuables of significant worth and with eternal value! Without owning any of the above-noted valuables, my value is high! It exceeds the worth of them all! People thirst for my prize possession! I want them to! Desires are natural! I desire a diamond ring; I can live without it! I’ll take an expensive car with features that make traveling comfortable and highly enjoyable! I can live without it! Give me a mink coat, I’ll take it! Still, I can live without it! But Jesus Christ, my one prize possession and constant desire—I can’t live without Him! Unfortunately, too many are clueless about Him–clueless to His existence. The reason? It’s more popular for Christians to keep Him to themselves than share the gospel. More appalling…it’s more common for Christians to limit their devotion to Him in terms of doing His will of evangelism. We are indebted to God to take advantage of every opportunity we get to turn others on to the MOST valuable Being in all the earth! Jesus said this, “Freely ye have received, freely give!” God expects us to devote ourselves to His will in enlightening others on their need for our prize possession! People are desperate for the valuables you and I possess through Christ though some really don’t understand He is the One they long for!
In June, I watched a reality crime show where the primary character was a man who identified himself as a satanist. I’ve learned through watching crime shows that some folks are driven against their knowledge and will…demonically inspired. This man murdered 13 people (men and women). Attempted to murder 5 others. Sexually assaulted 11 people and engaged in 14 counts of burglary. He was evil, merciless, remorseless, revengeful, angry, hateful and much more. A terror to himself and others. In his state of mind, he lacked value. Some victims suffered tragically. Some were forced to admit love for satan. After breaking and entering homes at night, he killed those sound asleep. Those who awoke because of hearing an intruder or were already awake were forced to show him their valuables. He wanted them. As I watched in astonishment of the man’s merciless behavior, my prevailing thought was, “Christians have some VALUABLES to get to people!” Some of us don’t have material possessions, of high value, to give away but we have what people WANT and REALLY NEED! The cost to get our VALUABLES, hope, love, peace, joy, kindness, charity, encouragement, acceptance/affirmation, eternal life, into the hearts and lives of others is minimal to nothing! The message of the cross and risen Savior who transforms lives can be imparted as the Spirit leads! The truth of the Savior who desires to come and sup with people, live His life through them can be shared with folks in near and far settings! We have the best valuables folks can be offered! Occasionally, it may cost us a tank of gas to go to places where samaritan-type women hang! It may cost a $7.00 meal to take a non-Christian neighbor to their favorite fast-food restaurant for purposes of hearing the good news of the gospel, but the compensation for both you and them will be far greater than any expense!
Unregenerated men and women are copious in our world. One convert can win a household to Jesus…a city to Him! The world diminishes in evil by one convert! They love rather than hate! Show respect for life rather than murder! Express humility over revenge! People NEED our valuables! The man in the reality show was known as “the night stalker.” He premeditated evil. His behavior was heinous! But guess who else engaged in heinous behavior? The Apostle Paul. But prior to his conversion! Thank God for grace, mercy, and transformation, right! Saul consented to the stoning of a devout Christian, Stephen! He evil-intreated Christians! Hauled them out of their homes! “Well, God doesn’t expect me to minister to a person like the night stalker!” Ananias probably felt the same way! Still, God expected him to receive and minister to Saul turned Paul! Christian reader, we are sheep in the midst of wolves! God has desires too! He wants the wolves! I wonder how many Christians crossed the path of the night stalker but failed to reach out to him? He was in need of an attitude adjustment that only God could give! How many Ananias’ are available to God for the more difficult cases in sharing the gospel to the Sauls of the world? No doubt, this night stalker, could have gone from being a misfit in society to a benefit in the Kingdom of light! People are still premeditating evil, engaging in horrific acts! Evil people existed in the bible…evil people still exist! They NEED our VALUABLES!
“Then Peter said, silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk!” (Acts 3:6)
In this biblical story, Peter and John went to the temple! An unregenerated lame man laid there, daily, to ask alms of the temple goers. Whatever they could give to improve his quality of life, he accepted it! When Peter and John showed up, He got more than he expected! Much more! His offering was an experience with the matchless power of Christ! But Christians know very well, when you get Jesus, you get a package full of other delights! The man was healed! After healing, he was able to walk, leap, jump…even work and make a living for himself! The lame man received strength, joy, knowledge, and an unforgettable experience with God! All of them, together, was a new day for him! When you and I share our faith with others, they get Jesus and SO MUCH MORE! They get everything needed to improve their quality of life! They get Jesus AND”peace with God!” They get the peace of God! Access to God! Joy, love, hope, kindness, the spirit of joy and praise, eternal life! Just a few of the spiritual graces that far exceed the value of any material possession! When we get Jesus, we get character that cause people to become attracted to us. I love this story….if we would give our valuables away… if we would give people an opportunity to hear and see the gospel in action, people would cease looking for that which persistently disappoints…cease looking for love in all the wrong places! The path of darkness would be less traveled! People desire a better way of life! Christians have HIM that completely satisfies! Silver, gold, rings, watches don’t satisfy like Jesus! We MUST give our valuables away! This scripture still holds true….”it’s more blessed to give than receive!” Some form of compensation is inevitable for everybody involved in getting Jesus into the existence of others! Everybody wins!
1. God’s gained a son/daughter!
2. God’s vessel used to share the gospel gained a reward in heaven!
3. God’s newest convert gained access to God and every divine benefit connected to belonging to his family!
4. God’s world, of which He is sovereign, gets brighter…lighter in righteousness and burdens! Others now connected to the new convert experience “light” instead of darkness! Everyone connected to the new creature in Christ gets a glimpse of the light of the gospel!
The place to begin in getting our valuables out is with everyone but especially children! The night stalker’s issues, no doubt, stemmed from his childhood. Kids’ minds are still being shaped! Their hearts are still being developed. Their lives are in the beginning stages of molding! If we want to upset the kingdom of darkness, begin with reaching out to the vast community of children…be instrumental in framing their minds, emotions, and actions at a young age! Jesus was interested in children! Should not we be as well? He did say, “…..suffer the little children to come to me and forbid them not, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” How do we outreach the children? How do we change the course of their ways?
1. Love them
2. Teach them
3. Pay attention to them
4. Smile at them
5. Affirm them
6. Talk to them
7. Help them
8. Include them
9. Provide for them
10. Correct them
11. Respect them
12. Secure them
13. Value them and show them their value and,
14. Give them Jesus!
We have our work cut out for us. Reach the children! Reach the World! Then and only then will our world minimize in darkness and rise in greater light!