We Are Players on the Team

God loves the whole world but He has an agreement (or contract) with those of us who are Christians. Let me explain by talking about the owner of our local professional sports team. The owner has a general relationship with the fans and invites them to come to the games and enjoy them. He wants them to come and he does his best to put a winning team on the field for them to enjoy. If some fans get disappointed and mad, they can just stop coming to the games and it is no big deal. However, the owner of the team has a written contract with his players and coaches. There are specific commitments and expectations for both sides. They are legally bound to this commitment.

In the same way, God has made an agreement with us through his word to provide abundantly for more than just our needs. Though we know he loves the whole world, he has a contract with those who have taken his offer and signed on to his team.

Jesus was well taken care of by his Father. Jesus was not destitute and poor. He was born in a manger because the Inn was full. It was a symbolic act because he was the Lamb of God. His earthly father (Joseph) was a businessman going to pay taxes along with everyone else. Later, the wise men came to visit him in a house.

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh (Matthew 2:11).”

Jesus himself was self-employed until age 30. He was not homeless and poor. If it is more spiritual to be poor as some Christians think, then we would have to say that Jesus wasn’t very spiritual!

Jesus took time to meet the needs of both wealthy men and poor beggars, however when he called his disciples he spoke only to men who were successful, working businessmen. We find out at his crucifixion that he wore clothing that was valuable. It was valuable enough that hardened soldiers did not want to destroy it. People followed Jesus because he had authority and knew where he was going. He had wealthy women traveling with his party. In fact, Luke indicates that the wife of the manager of Herod’s household was traveling with Jesus and financially supporting him.

“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means (Luke 8:1-3). ”

Do you think that Joanna slept in the dirt? I don’t know, but I doubt it. She was married to Herod’s treasurer. I am inclined to think about what happens when we go to the mountains for a week-end with friends. When it is just the guys in the mountain for the week-end it is okay to rough it a little and just take the bare essentials. But when our wives accompany us things tend to be a little more comfortable.

Jesus had a treasurer named Judas who carried a money box. I suppose we could say that the money box was empty, but do you really think Jesus would have had someone carry an empty money box around? I don’t think so. Many Christians will say God is good, but because they have always struggled financially, they have developed a mindset that God is a stingy and holding back blessing. Just the opposite is true.

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