I recently began working for a non-profit, whose mission is to raise up the next generation of gospel patrons. I had no idea what a “gospel patron” was, and these past few months have been such a blessing as the Lord has connected me with a beautiful job opportunity that has opened my eyes to an even greater vision of the call He has placed on each and every one of us, right where we are.
Patron: a person who gives financial or other support to a person, organization, cause, or activity.
In Luke 10 we are presented with tangible examples of early gospel patrons: the Mission of the Seventy-Two, the Good Samaritan, and Mary and Martha. Each story gives insight as to how we are to love the Lord with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, whether that’s through evangelism, caring for the poor and the needy, or prioritizing worship.
Generosity is an act of worship.
Giving of ourselves (financially or any kind of support) is not only an expression of obedience, but also of gratitude and trust. We see this play out in each event in Luke 10 and it is clear that the Lord takes notice and acknowledges each act of service. The call is simple: love God, love people. It’s more than a cute advertising phrase that we often see on coffee mugs and t-shirts; it’s a command. We each have a part to play and it doesn’t take only money to have skin in the game and become a patron of the gospel.
More often than not, our faith is displayed through the way we live. Our hearts are always where our treasure is. How we spend our time reflects what we value. Our bank statements reflect what is important to us throughout the month. What we value is not easily hidden. And even if it were, God sees and knows it all.
I agree that giving is better than receiving, and I love that the Lord created us to participate in what He treasures and values. He lived his life on earth this way, and He has yet to ask of us something He hasn’t done Himself. Even while hanging from the cross Jesus made provisions for His mother. He made sure she would be taken care of. He displayed compassion, even while hurting and hanging from a cross. Waiting for life to be “perfect” or waiting to have “enough” to make any kind of provisions for others is like waiting on the sidelines watching life and opportunities pass you by.
My son has been such an example of love and sacrifice to me. This past summer he worked hard at selling lemonade on our street corner. He did really well and was so proud of himself. On my birthday, he emptied his jar of money and ran down the street where this little old man sells and repairs lawn mowers, and he bought a lawn mower so he could mow the lawn himself and eliminate our lawn service bill. My sweet son exemplifies what Christ calls us to do: see a need and meet the need. We may not all be able to buy lawn mowers or cars for people, but love and kindness go a long way. The abundance of Christ is magnified in serving others in both big and small ways.
We learn to trust the abundance of Christ when we are in need. There are some things in life that are only discovered and understood in the valleys. However, it’s in those valleys that I believe that Christ reveals to us how we can show His abundance to others who are in need. We serve a good, faithful, and sovereign God who sees everything—our needs as well as the needs around us. As we love God greatly, we will naturally love people greatly.
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