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The Treasure Principle

William Borden, 1887-1913

Borden, a Yale graduate and heir to great wealth, rejected a life of ease in order to bring the gospel to Muslims. Refusing even to buy himself a car, Borden gave away hundreds of thousands of dollars to missions. After only four months of zealous ministry in Egypt, he contracted spinal meningitis and died at the age of twenty-five…After describing his love and sacrifices for the kingdom of God and for Muslim people, the inscription [on Borden’s grave] ended with a phrase I’ve never forgotten:

“Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for such a life.”

(That’s an excerpt from chapter 3 (“Eyes on Eternity”) of the book The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. I encourage each of you to pick up a copy and read it. It’s a super easy read filled with great truths and challenges.) 

check it out

Whenever I see documentaries/commercials about the starving children in Africa, the girls being raped for money and shuffled through the sex-trafficking network, the orphans with nowhere to go, I often wonder, “Why them? Why not me?” I remember telling someone during the Passion conference that watching the stories of people in India hits home because I know people there. I have family there. My own parents grew up there. 

So why am I so blessed to be living in abundance in America when there are children suffering around the world? 

“Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of our righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on ever occasion.”

-2 Corinthians 9:10-11

In Alcorn’s words, “God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving. God comes right out and tells us why He gives us more money than we need. It’s not so we can find more ways to spend it. It’s not so we can indulge ourselves and spoil our children. It’s not so we can insulate ourselves from needing God’s provision. It’s so we can give–generously…Just because God puts His money in our hands doesn’t mean He intends for it to stay there! That’s what Paul told the Corinthians, encouraging them to give to the needy in Jerusalem: 

At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.” (2 Corinthians 8:14-15)

Why does God give some of His children more than they need? So that He may use His children to help one another. He doesn’t want us to have too little or too much (Proverbs 30:8-9). When those with too much give to those with too little, two problems are solved. When they don’t, two problems are perpetuated” (pg. 74-76).

Back to my original question. Why them and not me? I’m not sure why God sovereignly placed me here in America, where I’m safe and live in comfort, and placed them in their country, where they’re exploited and needy. But in reality, it doesn’t matter why I’m here and they’re there. What matters is that the gospel and grace I’ve received through Christ radically changes my response to this situation. God has generously shown me so much undeserved grace. The only proper response to His generosity and grace is for me to extend generosity and grace to others.  

To be honest, I’m a pretty poor college student (poor by American standards…compared to how much of the rest of the world lives, I’m filthy rich…and so are you). I don’t have much money to give at this point. But what I have, I will give generously. Not because I’m “such a good person” or anything like that, but because Christ’s presence in my life radically changes me: all of me. My heart belongs to Him, my plans belong to Him, my desires belong to Him, my possessions belong to Him. Jesus has taken over my life. Everything I have is really His. So I’ll use it the way He wants.

I can’t ignore the pain and suffering of people around the world.

Jesus sees their needs, He sees their pain…so must I. 

By His grace, I am blessed way beyond what I deserve. I am given much so I can give away much. I want to use all my resources–time, money, everything–for His glory. One day, I want my epitaph to read:

“Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for such a life.”

And by the grace of God, those words will be true of me. 

one day.

God’s grace in my life today:

I had the opportunity to meet with a Kids Alive director and am in the process of becoming a volunteer at their local office.

By His grace alone, I get to play a small part in helping the children in those videos rather than being the child in those videos.  

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