Pastor Andrew Owen
Dear eNews friends and church members,
IF YOU MEASURE THE WRONG THINGS YOU WILL GET A WRONG RESULT
We as human beings are obsessed it seems with measuring things. We quantify everything from our weight to the number of new cars sold last month.
Over 80% of news feeds talk about one measurement or another, so we are bombarded with it every day. We use these numbers to tell others how well we are doing, or not doing as the case may be. Politicians use these measurements to win arguments and gain votes. Every company has to report back to its shareholders with facts and figures, hospitals use numbers to explain performance in line with waiting times, and schools use measurements to slot their place in the league tables. We even have an official national office of statistics, which records all kinds of information about our nation. They can tell us everything from suicide rates, to average personal debt.
The Bible is no stranger to measuring things. We read of the feeding of the 5,000, or the 3,000 saved in one day, or the 12 disciples or 120 in the upper room. We read of precise measurements of the tabernacle or the exact amount of money David laid up for his son Solomon to build the temple. But the Bible also warns about measuring the wrong things, pointing out that in so doing you will end up with a wrong result.
Jesus told of a man who measured his wealth and the barns he then built to put it all in -but forgot to measure the state of his soul. These heavy words are then written in holy scripture, you fool, this night your soul is required of you.
King David got into a great deal of trouble when he numbered his troops, thinking his strength and power were in the size of his army, forgetting the grace and mercy of God that actually put him on the throne.
These are some important things the Bible teaches us on measuring our lives and all that they involve:
1. Life is measured not by its duration but by its donation.
It’s not about how much I’ve gathered, but how much I have given away. I sat with a billionaire just a few weeks ago, who told me that he is now giving more than 80% of his income away, and already told his kids that there will be no substantial inheritance. They agreed happily with this, seeing their family blessed to be a blessing. Truth is you can’t give what you don’t have, so when we set giving goals, we are automatically setting up receiving goals. God has to get it to us so that he can get it through us. Just don’t let it stick or the supply will stop.
2. We are to measure the fruit gained not the activities undertaken.
I visited a church in the USA, that took great delight in reporting their attendance, their giving income, and the numbers of people who downloaded their podcasts. But in this church of 7,000 less than 70 had come to Christ the year before. We thank God for each one, but a pretty poor result for such big resources.
It’s my privilege and joy to sit on the board of JAGO (Jesus Alive Gospel Outreach), established by the late Peter Pretorius. We have been heavily involved with their outreaches, church planting, and pastor’s conferences. We once attended an outreach in the DRC where more than 700,000 people attended. But in all the years involved, they never focused on reporting attendance, but on souls recorded as coming to Christ. More than 12 Million by the time Peter went home, and over 280,000 last year alone since he’s gone.
So, whilst we need to know how many came to church on Sunday, it’s more important to know how many came to Jesus on Sunday.
3. Don’t measure your resources by what’s in your bank but by what’s in the Word.
There are thousands of promises in the word of God, and all of them like a cheque waiting to be cashed. God intends to keep every one and wants you to have the adventure of experiencing them all. This is why the Bible instructs us as follows, Let the weak say I am strong, let the poor say I am rich. We can all then, by walking in faith, bring the written Word into a living Word, and get the results it promises.
Coming up soon:
It’s actually been 3 years since we last gave like this.
What will be the legacy of our lives? When it’s all been said and done, what will have been said and done? Please pray into this moment and ask God what He wants you to give.
This is not about equal giving, we all have different amounts, but it is about equal sacrifice. We should all stretch our faith, perhaps give more than we ever given before.
I am convinced that God wants us to step UP, step IN, and step ON the ground He wants us to take!
We love you guys, praying for you.
Andrew & Sue