Given Much

When I started this blog, my goal was to help women find their passion by recognizing how God had uniquely designed and equipped them for the good deeds He prepared for them. My belief was that in doing this, they would also find far more life — satisfaction, fulfillment, joy, and more — in their relationship with Him. My desire is that each reader would see herself as God does and be inspired to connect deeply with Him, draw what she needs from His unlimited supply, and expend her energy loving those He has placed in her life.

The need for godly influence in our society is great; the news and social media overflow with reports of spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. It is easy to get caught up in the debate about how the needs should be met and never do anything to help meet them. It is also easy to be paralyzed by guilt for not recognizing the needs or acting sooner.

Today I asked myself, “If Jesus was on the earth today, how would He respond to these needs? How should I respond to them as His representative?”

How we answer those questions depends on our understanding of Jesus’ perspective. Do we view Him as a humanitarian reformer? An uninvolved deity watching from afar? A wise teacher or philosopher? Lord and Savior? Jesus took on multiple roles during His time on earth, but He had one overarching life goal:

For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me…my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:38-40, NIV)

Jesus’ primary goal was to meet our biggest need: reconciliation with God that results in forgiveness of our sin and eternal life with God. He was unwavering and unapologetic about that goal. But Jesus met physical and emotional needs — which people perceived to be bigger — to gain the opportunity to talk about those spiritual needs. He confirmed that He was the fulfillment of this prophecy:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19, NIV)

Proclaim good news. Offer freedom to prisoners. Restore sight to the blind. Free the oppressed. Usher in the time of the Lord’s favor. Each one of these meets a combination of physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. Some of these could only be accomplished by Jesus, the Messiah. But we can follow His example in others.

As I pondered how to accomplish this, I remembered:

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48, NIV)

Would you be surprised to learn that this verse applies to you? It is not just for those who are richer, wiser, more influential, or better educated. If you are God’s child, YOU have been given much in at least one area. Using your “much” to honor and glorify God by loving people is far more life!

  • Maybe you have been given much compassion. Jesus expects you to show much compassion to those around you.
  • Maybe you have been given great problem-solving skills. Jesus expects you to devise and share (and maybe implement!) solutions for others’ needs.
  • Maybe you have been given vast communication skills, influence, or followers. Jesus expects you to share His message with others and offer them His truth and grace in love.
  • Maybe you have been given much energy. Jesus expects you to joyfully invest yourself in helping others. There are so many ways to help, choose one that you are excited about.
  • Maybe you have been given much time. Jesus expects you to use it in pursuits that will reveal Him to others. There are many people and organizations you can help with your time and skills.
  • Maybe you have much wealth. Give much to people and organizations who are meeting needs for Christ!

I believe every child of God has been given “much” of something. We do not all have the same resources, skills, talents, and interests because God’s plan requires diverse contributions. As each person does their part, the bigger need is met. This is stated clearly in Scriptures:

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.  (I Corinthians 12:4-7, NIV)

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. (Romans 12:4-6, NIV)

You have a unique and important role to play in God’s plan. He has given you specific gifts and allowed specific circumstances so you can serve as His representative. He wants you to partner with Him in meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those around you. As you give much, you will grow far more life.

Sisters,
What is an area of our society or world where you see a great need?
How do you view Jesus (reformer, teacher, deity, Lord, or something else)? How does that influence what you do for Him to meet others’ needs?
What “much” have you been given? How can you use that to glorify God by meeting others’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs?
Thank God for your “much” — and far more life!
-Shari

Copyright 2021, Shari Damaso
Photo credit: Jenjoe Marsh