“not concerned with the opinions of others” Mark 12:14
The disciple is called to share the destiny of his Master, a destiny which embraced righteousness, mercy and faith. As Jesus takes the role of servant, the disciple is called to be a servant. He must deny himself and resolutely reject all that stands in the way of true discipleship and live in a state of constant readiness to serve.
The rule of God is not to be feared or lamented by the disciple. A Christ follower gladly follows Jesus as the ultimate treasure. The desperate world in which we live calls for radical measures. While surrounded by such self-indulgence, what is needed is a denial of self and an acceptance of God in the Messiah.
But in meeting Jesus, recognizing Him, and following Him, a disciple does not spend the remainder of his life in self-pity for what’s been given up. Nor does one live in some gloomy disposition. Rather, it’s a life marked by the joy of being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
A Christian understanding of life is essential as the background of generosity. In all of Jesus’ teachings, there is an assumption that our life in this world is preparation for life in the next. He says, don’t spend your days hoarding treasures on earth, because they will eventually breakdown, rust out or be stolen. But, rather, stockpile it in heaven, because the place where we want most to be, is the place we will end up being.
The conviction we hold concerning the primary concern of life will affect the way life is lived in this world. Jesus wasn’t distracted by the gleam and glamour of Caesar’s coins. There was never a question of primary concern. He looked at heaven, listened to His Heavenly Father and lived life accordingly.
Often the issue of money is the best indication there is of spiritual growth. People who are genuinely seeking to follow Jesus will share the same primary concern of their Master.
Is there any hypocrisy in your giving? What does your giving imply about your discipleship?