I was listening to a recent message by Andy Stanley (you can listen to the message here) and he introduced the topic of everything we own being a tool for building the Kingdom. Our money, our car, our house, our kitchen table – everything – can, and should, be thought of as tools for building the Kingdom.
I have long understood the time and money we are blessed with should in turn be used for God’s purposes here on earth. But I admit, I had never considered how everything we own should also be seen as tools for building the Kingdom. It’s a bold way of thinking with the possibility of opening new avenues of service to our King.
How much of what you own have you actually put into service for the Kingdom? For me, the answer would be very little. Infinitesimal. I look around at the “stuff” that crowds my house (stressful for an aspiring minimalist), and think “what a waste”. I am like the man who stored up possessions for the future without regard for today (Luke 12:13-21). What good is any of it if Christ were to call me to be with Him today? It is all vanity, useless trinkets accumulated to bring a false sense of security and contentment.
What if instead we started looking at our things as tools for building the Kingdom? Our cars could be used to transport the sick and elderly to appointments. Our houses could be a shelter for a teenage runaway living on the street. The kitchen table becomes more than a place to read the paper, and instead is used as a gathering place for neighbors who do not know the beauty of Jesus. All of our extraneous knick-knacks could be sold and the money donated to the poor. Seeing what we own as tools for building the Kingdom paints a gorgeous picture of love and humility.
My guess is most of us won’t do this. We like our things and take great comfort and pleasure in them. Change is difficult and surrender nearly impossible. But isn’t that what we are called to do? We are not here to accumulate goods or wealth. We aren’t alive to grab all we can while sparing some small percentage for others. The reason we are alive today is to demonstrate God’s character to the world. This means we are here to be humble, generous, and loving servants even when it doesn’t make any sense to the culture surrounding us.
Until we see our possessions as tools for building the Kingdom, it is a sure sign we are clinging too tightly to the things of this world. Truly we are fools if we refuse to give up what we cannot keep in exchange for that which we cannot lose. We have been so richly blessed for the purpose of using those blessings to build God’s Kingdom here on earth. It’s not about our comfort or security. It’s not about us at all. It’s all about Jesus and what we do for Him with what He has given us.