Relationships, Not Rewards

Christians are called to love. To love like Jesus requires grace! As I reflected last time, loving like Jesus means loving and giving and sacrificing with no thought of the reward. Jesus died for us without calculating a reward. He knew that a lot of people would forget Him, or not return His love. But He died for us anyway. And He freed us from the bounds and obligations of law! Now we live in grace, filled with His Spirit. And by His Spirit, we love our neighbors like He loved us.

When I help somebody out, I do it because I love them. I don’t do it so that I can get right with God by scoring charity points. I don’t need to! Jesus already got us right with God. Continue reading

Fulfilled by Work

Last time I suggested that working to earn money and achieve our goals is important, but that we as human beings need something more. Let me put that into perspective. Americans aren’t the only people to work hard, but we are among the few who are able to achieve success from our hard work. In some countries, people never make more than two or three dollars a day, no matter how hard they work. They never work their way out of poverty because they literally can’t. There’s just no way to do it.

There are so many people out there in the world who work just as hard as we do and will never, ever, ever, be able to make more than two or three dollars a day, unless something changes. You can help. Continue reading

Why Do You Work?

Why do you work? If you work because you need a paycheck, or because you want to make tons of money, I understand.

And maybe you also work because you’ve set goals. You have said, “I want to achieve something great. At my job, greatness comes with a raise or a promotion, so that’s my goal.” You work hard for your goals. I really do understand that.

Suppose I say to someone, “You have to work hard if you want to become the president of your company.” And they say, “Yeah, I want to do that.”

Then I would ask, “Okay, why?’ Continue reading

More on My Calling

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We’re called to all kinds of different ministries. We’re the Body of Christ! Some of us are hands, some of us are feet, some of us are eyes, some of us are ears, some of us are His voice.

Some of us do studies on the problems of poverty and slavery, and others come up with programs or ministries to alleviate those problems. If no one conducted those studies or created those ministries, I wouldn’t have even heard of the problems of the poor.

There are a lot of people called to help and they don’t even know it yet. I didn’t know I was called until three years ago. Continue reading

How to Change the World

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Last time I showed you how a youth group of a hundred kids can change the lives of an entire community in just three months. All they have to do is raise eighty dollars each. Eight thousand dollars will pay to put in a well that will deliver clean water and eliminate 90% of disease.

Now, when those kids realize that they did this awesome thing, they’re going to say, “Man, we love doing this. We’d like to do this again!”

Well, they can! The next step in the REACH program is food. The cost is 25 cents a meal. For eight thousand dollars, you can buy a lot of meals! Not only will the kids package the meals, they’ll pray over them and ship them too. First they put in a well, and now they’ll be sending nutritious food.

They’ll have fun doing that too, and they’ll want to do it yet again. Continue reading

How Does God Speak to You?

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God is very relational, so one of the ways He speaks to me is through friends. My friend Mike King runs a youth ministry in Kansas City called Youthfront. He also runs Feed the Hunger. We send food to Africa, and we’ve been sending food to Haiti. The meals that we send cost 15 or 20 cents, and young people raise the money and package the meals for shipment. So the ministry is youth-oriented, helping young people to be aware of global poverty issues.

That has been my heart’s pride, that young people, especially this new generation of people 14 or 15 years old to 26 years old and even older, are really coming to understand more about global poverty and slavery. Continue reading

The Fulfillment of Work

Why do you work? If you work because you need a paycheck, or you want to make tons of money, I understand that. To a point.

But I also understand that for most of us, we can do something more. Even if you have fifty cents, a dollar, two dollars extra, you can pay for someone’s day. That’s the same amount of money that people in some countries make in a day. So if you give a little extra, you can support somebody’s one day paycheck. You really do have the ability to do that.

And maybe you work hard because you’ve set goals. You say, “I want to achieve something great. At my job, to be great, you have to get that raise or that promotion, and I want to be great, so that’s my goal.” I really do understand. But it can’t stop there, because by itself, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I mean, what is the point of being great? Continue reading