Our God is a rich, wonderful, and universally vast God, and His economy is to dispense all His riches to the members of His household so that they would be filled and saturated with God until they corporately express God as the church, the Body of Christ.
In order to distribute all His riches into His people, God has set many faithful and prudent slaves over His household as “household administrators”, that is, channels of life supply that give His people food at the proper time (1 Tim. 1:4; Matt. 24:45).
We all have been entrusted with the stewardship of the grace of God, and we need to be the faithful and prudent slaves who enjoy the Lord in His word, are filled with Christ’s riches, and are one with the Lord to minister the word of God and Christ as the life-supply to the believers in the church at the proper time.
This should be our normal situation and function in the church life, but unfortunately many times we are not like this at all. The Lord Jesus was faithful to expose our attitude and situation both in His speaking and through the apostles in their writing, warning us not to be slothful, not to store up treasures in this world but in the heavens, remember Lot’s wife, not to love the present evil age, love the Lord’s appearing, and be watchful and beseeching so that the day of the Lord’s coming would not come upon us suddenly as a snare.
We need to be both encouraged and warned by the Lord’s word, and we need to take heed to the warning and function in our measure to minister Christ to others for their growth in life for the building up of the Body of Christ.
Not Loving the Present Evil Age but Loving the Lord’s Appearing
In Matt. 24:48 we see that the slave the master set over his household to give them food at the appointed time says, My master delays…and so he beats his fellow slaves and eats and drinks with the drunken.
Here the slave is not an unbeliever but a believer who was entrusted by the Lord with a stewardship to feed His people with Christ’s riches until He returns; but this believer thinks that the Lord tarries His coming, and so he mistreats his fellow believers and enjoys the things of this world, hoping the Lord will not come too soon.
Many believers do not live a life in the preparation for the Lord’s return, and so when He returns He will “cut them asunder”, that is, He will cut them off from His coming glory and apportion them the outer darkness apart from the Lord for 1000 years (see Matt. 24:14-30).
The Apostle Paul was one who was ready for the Lord to give him the crown of righteousness, which the Lord gives not only to him but also to all those who love the Lord’s appearing (2 Tim. 4:8). If we love the Lord and His appearing, His return will be hastened and we will be rewarded by Him.
But we also see Demas, who for the love of the present age has abandoned Paul (v. 10). Paul loved the Lord and His appearing, and Demas loved the present age.
We need to be those who love the Lord and His appearing, and when we do so, we will just minister Christ to our fellow believers. Just as Paul, Christ appeared to us and He is constantly appearing to us daily as we spend time with Him to make us a minister and a witness of the things He shows us (Acts 26:16).
We should love the Lord and the Lord’s appearing; we should yearn for His return especially as we weekly enjoy Him and remember Him at His table, and we should testify to others of what the Lord is to us.
Lord Jesus, save us from being an evil slave, one who does not love Your appearing but loves the present age. Lord Jesus, we love You! We love to spend time with You and behold Your wonderful face. You are the most precious One. Keep us in Your appearing, enjoying Your dispensing and Your infusing, until You return! Lord, infuse us with Your desire to return so that we may love You more and hasten Your return!
Not Storing up Treasure for Ourselves but Being Rich Toward God
In Luke 12:16-20 we see the parable of a rich man whose fields were ready to be gathered, and he wanted to expand his barns to contain all the riches and then he would be at ease and rest in his soul; this one did not know that very soon his soul would be required from him, so he stored up treasures for himself but was not rich toward God. This is a danger for us as believers; we may be those who store up treasures for ourselves in this world, but we are not rich toward God.
The Apostle Paul was not rich outwardly but he enriched many; he enjoyed the all-inclusive Christ in all His riches, and he then ministered this rich Christ to others to make them rich in the Lord (1 Cor. 6:10).
We need to see Christ in all that He is and has done, and we need to enjoy Him to be filled with His riches; then, when we speak to others, we will minister the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel (Eph. 3:8). Hallelujah, our Christ is unsearchably rich, and as we enjoy Him, He becomes our treasure, the place where our heart is.
In the church life we also have many opportunities to store up treasures in heaven such as being in the meetings of the church, attending conferences and trainings, getting together with our vital companions, taking care of the new ones and the young ones, and giving to the Lord in secret.
Oh, may we be those who possess all things in Christ (even though outwardly we may not have much), those who are as poor yet enriching many, and those who preach the unsearchable riches of Christ as the gospel!
Lord Jesus, may we be not storing up treasures for ourselves here on earth but seeking to be rich toward God! Lord, keep us enjoying You in all Your riches. Appear to us and infuse us with all that You are, have done, and have attained and obtained. Lord, may Your riches constitute us and fill us until we simply minister the riches of Christ to others. We want to store up riches in heaven and be rich toward God!
Remember Lot’s Wife: a Solemn Warning to the World Loving Believers
Lot and his family were God’s people, and God wanted to rescue them from Sodom, but on their way out, his wife took a lingering look back at the city, and she became a pillar of salt. “Remember Lot’s wife” is a solemn warning to the world-loving believers (Luke 17:31-32).
If we as believers love the world, we become like tasteless salt: we are not good for the church (the ground) and we’re not meant for the pile of manure (the lake of fire); rather, we will be disciplined by the Lord in the millennium kingdom (see Luke 14:34-35).
If we love the world and treasure the evil world which God is about to judge and utterly destroy, we will not perish eternally but we will not be either fully saved – we will be left in a place of shame, as Lot’s wife was.
May the Lord save us from loving the world by drawing us to Himself more and more until He is all the world to us! May we be warned by the example of Lot’s wife and seek the Lord, love Him, and treasure Him supremely!
Being Watchful and Beseeching Before the Lord, and Exercising to Minister Christ
In speaking of the God-man living that we as believers should have, on the one hand we need to be discipled by the Lord’s pattern, and on the other hand we need to function to minister Christ to others.
In our serving the Lord to minister Christ to the saints we need to be watchful and beseeching so that the day of the Lord’s coming would not come upon us suddenly as a snare (see Luke 21:34-36; cf. Matt. 2:3). We need to take heed to ourselves less our hearts are weighed down with the things of this world and the day of the Lord’s coming would surprise us.
Our heart needs to be free from debauchery, drunkenness, and the anxieties of life. For this, we need to be watchful at every time, beseeching the Lord that we will prevail. We need to pray that we would have the strength and ability to escape all these things that are coming upon this whole inhabited earth and stand before the Son of Man as overcomers in that day.
We do need to take care of the necessities of life, but we should not let them weigh us down. Rather, we should be watchful, on guard, and exercise before the Lord to enjoy Him, and we need to exercise our “one talent” to “make business” for the Lord. Each and every one of us as believers in Christ have at least one talent, one gift, and we should use our gift by exercising our spirit to function in the meetings.
A great problem among Christians today is that their function is completely annulled; they passively attend large gatherings and “corporately worship God”, but they don’t function in their measure. We need to realize that it is serious for us not to use our one talent and thus not to function in the meeting.
Each one of us has something of Christ he has enjoyed and experienced, or at least he has a song, a hymn, a verse from the Bible that can be shared with the exercise of the spirit for the building up of the church.
Instead of being weighed down by the things of this world we should exercise our spirit to enjoy the Lord, be watchful, beseech Him to prevail, and speak Christ to others for the building up of the church as the Body of Christ.
Lord, we want to be watchful and beseeching so that the day of Your coming would not come upon us as a snare. Lord Jesus, we love You. We seek You and we pursue to know You experientially so that we may be filled with You! Lord, we exercise our spirit to rise above any love for the world or necessity of life, and we choose to function in the meetings of the church according to the gift You gave us! Amen, Lord, make us functioning members of Your Body for the building up of the church!
References and Hymns on this Topic
- Inspiration: the Word of God, my Christian experience, the brothers’ sharing in the message for this week, and portions from, Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1979, vol. 2, “Basic Lessons on Service,” lsn. 13, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Need for a New Revival, week 3 / msg 3, Living the Life of a God-man (1) Being Discipled to Live the Life of a God-man to Be Today’s Overcomers for a New Revival.
- All Bible verses are taken from, Holy Bible Recovery Version.
- Hymns on this topic to strengthen this burden:
# I have fought the good fight; / I have finished the course; / I have fought the good fight; / I have kept the faith. / Henceforth there is laid up for me / The crown of righteousness, / Which the Lord, the Righteous Judge, / Will recompense me in that day, / And not only me / But also all those who have loved His appearing. (Song on, 2 Timothy 4:7-8)
# O the riches of my Savior, / So unsearchable, immense; / All the fulness of the Godhead / I may now experience. / May I know these boundless riches, / Christ experience in full; / And with others may I share them / In their content bountiful. (Hymns #542)
# God has chosen you and me out of the world / For His plan, for man to live expressing Him. / Use us! Infuse us! Shine as the light from within. / Saturate us; be manifested through our entire being. / Pay the price and come, be filled with life! / Not just filled! / Life must multiply! / Bury not your talent in the ground! / Bear much fruit! / Increase all around! / Life, from God to me; / Life, through me for you. / With this balance, God will surely move. (Song on Using our Talent)