11 Oct 2013

Taking Small Steps to Being Set Apart

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Martin has been attending CTPC since 2009 and is currently serving as a deacon in charge of worship. He, his wife, and young daughter are currently in the process of moving to their new home.

Back on May 5th, Pastor Wayne visited our church with his family to speak with our congregation. They are one of the missionaries that we support, and they have been serving the Biem people in Papua New Guinea. As he shared with us about the work that God is doing amongst the Biem people, he challenged us about our lives as Christians. If we distill it down to the most basic level, the lives that we live should be different than the lives of non-Christians. The decisions and choices we make should result in lives that are different than others. How are Christians different?

  1. Christians have a different treasure, a treasure in heaven. And, wherever our treasure is, there our hearts will be also. If the way a Christian spend a million, a thousand, a hundred dollars is no different than a non-Christian, then where is our faith, and how has it changed us?
  2. Our lives are different, because we know that our lives are eternal. Are we making decisions based on this fact? Are we managing a life of eternity or a life of 70 some years?
  3. We fall differently because when we fall, we fall into God’s grace and forgiveness.

As Pastor Wayne was preaching, the question of “How is my life different as a Christian?” kept circling around my head. Specifically, how are the decisions I make about how I spend my money different than non-Christians? God has given me jobs and the means to earn money. He has also determined a limited number of years that I will be alive on this earth, which means that in my lifetime, there will be a limit to the amount of money I will have available. How should I be allocating the use of it?

 If we distill it down to the most basic level, the lives that we live should be different than the lives of non-Christians.

As I thought about it, the money my family is spending on our housing is the biggest slice of the pie, as I assume is probably the case for most of us that own a home. Owning the biggest home one can afford in the best location seems to be one of the quintessential “American Dreams.” I do not believe there is anything wrong with home ownership and ensuring you are making sound decisions with one of the biggest financial decisions in life.

In fact, when we were searching for the house we are in now, we felt that God provided us with a place in an ideal location that was also within our budget. If that was the case, why would God want us to move now? Does that mean we mistook God’s will for us when we purchased this house? I was reminded that even though something might have been good when God gave it to us, God can also ask us to give it up if that is the best for us at a later time. After much wrestling with God, our family made the decision to sell our current house to lower the amount of money we are spending on our own housing.

I think this is just a small step, and I am not sure where this might lead for us as a family. But I do know that God wants us to start by being faithful in the small things that He has placed in our lives. I am sure the decisions we make are not going to be perfect; but just like Pastor Wayne shared, we make these decisions fully in God’s grace.

Listen to the sermon that inspired Martin

“Christians are Different”
Sermon by Pastor Wayne Chen

Keep up to date with what God is doing in Papua New Guinea

Wayne and Gail Chen – New Tribes Mission

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