Grand Designs

08 Dec

When I was a kid I used to create floor plans for houses I would like to live in. At one time thought I might be an architect because I liked to draw plans and imagine spaces. I would draw immense houses with multiple floors and bedrooms imagining what they looked like inside. I actually took a couple years of architectural drawing and drafting in high school, back when they taught it without computers.

One thing I never considered was the cost of these monstrous homes I was creating. Indoor pools, twisty slides that led from floor to floor and secret passageways were fun features I added to my homes but never thought about the practicality of such things. I would be expensive to have hidden rooms and secret passageways!

Jody and I sometimes watch a show on Netflix called Grand Designs. Each episode features a family or couple who select a building site or a dilapidated structure and build a beautiful home on it. On every episode we have watched so far, the builders have exceeded their budget. One family intended to build for $750,000 and ended up spending far above $1,000,000.

Wouldn't it be great if hopes, dreams and wishes were all that were needed to make things happen? Wouldn't it be wonderful if money were not an issue? Think of all the things we could do if money didn't stand in the way. I would provide everyone on earth with clean water. I would make sure effective medicines made it to the farthest reaches of our planet. I would fund Bible translations for all the remaining language groups without the Scripture in their tongue. I'm sure you could add to this list.

One basic fact about life is that it requires some kind of currency. Whether it is building houses, running businesses, helping the poor or simply keeping your electricity on, they all demand money.

Governments, municipalities, hospitals, schools - none these institutions function without money. The church is no different. Money is simply one of the ways we are able to do what we do. Money empowers the church to fulfill its mission. As important as it is to give of our time and talent, those two alone won't finish the job. Even the apostle Paul asked his spiritual children to give to the church (2 Corinthians 8-9). Generosity is a vital tool God uses to expand his kingdom and the powerful effect it has on people's lives.

What's incredible is that money doesn't have to present an obstacle to doing God's work. In fact, it's a powerful tool. The only thing that stands in the way is the willingness and generosity of God's people. We can dream about what we'd like to do for God and think "it'll never happen because it's too expensive" OR we can dream about what we'd like to see God do and think "how can I be involved in making this happen?" The question is, are finances an obstacle or an opportunity?

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