What are you building? The question itself implies that you should be building something, and I believe that to be true if we want to live a Kingdom first life. I personally believe there is a specific answer to what we should all be building, and that is people. I do think it is very important for us to be good stewards of all of our resources (time, talent, money, etc); however, I don’t think any of these things are as important as our relationship with Jesus, and His people. If you build your Relationship with the Lord, you can’t help but want to build other people.
Jesus used a parable to help a man who was concerned about the division of his father’s estate. He tells him to beware and guard himself against every kind of greed. I think this is something that we should always keep in mind. It is significant in the fact that it is ongoing. If you need to guard yourself, it means that you need to shield and protect yourself from attack by a strong enemy. That enemy in this case is every kind of greed. I think most people tend to think of monetary wealth and possessions when they think of greed, but Jesus specifically says every kind of greed. We can be overcome by this enemy in many areas. We can develop an intense selfish desire for power, knowledge, influence, food, materials, money, cars, and many other things. This selfish desire does not fit the character of the Holy Spirit that lives in the sons and daughters of the Kingdom.
Jesus tells this man a story about a farmer who had a fertile farm that produced so many crops that the farmer’s barns could not contain the whole harvest. I am going to describe this situation as more than more than enough. I say that because I think it is good for Kingdom people to have more than enough because we can use it to help, and build other people. (again not just money and possessions) This farmer had more than more than enough. He had what he needed plus barns (plural) that were full. I would call that good stewardship, wise planning, having an emergency fund, or whatever else you would like to insert there. However, what about all the crops that wouldn’t fit in his barns? The man decides to tear down his nice barns, and build new bigger ones to hold it all, and sit back and enjoy life. This is where Jesus calls the man a fool, and says what good will those barns be when you die tonight. He says a person is a fool to build earthly wealth, BUT not have a rich relationship with God. The but is important here. What if this farmer would have had a rich relationship with God? How may his story be different? He could have realized that his fertile land, skills, ability, etc all came from God in the first place. He could have realized without God he would not have the sun, and rain needed for his crops. He may have had a spirit of gratitude for more than enough, and not a spirit of greed for even more. He may have given his extra crops to needy families, he may have sold his extra crops for less than market value, he may have dried his crops, and given the seeds to other farmers as well as share his knowledge with them in order to build them into better farmers. The options are endless. I think that finding ways to help people is awesome, and I think finding ways to build people is even better. (You can read this parable here)
How much money do you need? How big does your house need to be? How many cars do you need? How much college do you need? How big does your house need to be? That is between you and your Father, I can’t answer that for you. I can’t tell you how big to build your house, but I can say in all of these things as a son or daughter of God you can ask how you can use it to build other people. EVERYTHING is just a resource that can be used to help ANYONE. Use your resources to build people not barns. Joshua Fields Millburn has a great quote on this, he says “Love people, use things. The opposite never works.” Jesus told the person who He called the foundation of His church to take care of His people. (read it here in John 21:15-17)
Let’s use another practical example for application. Suppose a family in your community loses their home to a fire. If you are the person that has more than more than enough home, say the large finished basement that is never used except for when family comes to visit. You can use that space to house the family, and build their spirit while they are there. If you are the person that has more than more than enough clothes, you can be the person that clothes them. If you are the person that has more than more than enough food, and an overflowing love to cook you can be the person that feeds them. If you are the person that has more than more than enough time, you can be the one that ministers to them daily to build their faith and trust that God truly does work everything for the good to those who believe in Him. This sounds like sons and daughters doing what Jesus asked us to do in Matthew 25:35-40. (read it here.) Let’s throw in one more. If you are a person with a wealth of experience in project management, and you have a wealth of relationships with all sorts of people, you may be the one that organizes the effort to rebuild this family’s home and life. These natural examples are also true in the spiritual.
We can all learn to build, but what are we going to build? I think a lot of that answer comes from who we learn from, and what system they live in. Kingdoms of the world are built through acquisition. Acquire more and more land, materials, power, money etc. The kingdom of God is built less by acquisition and more by impartation, and inspiration. If you can impart to the next generation, and inspire them to live a Kingdom first life, the Kingdom continues to advance long after you are gone. Acquiring will always fail because regardless of the resource it will eventually run out. However, the Kingdom of God is eternal. As Isaiah 9:7 says ” the increase of His government and it’s peace will never end.”
Build people, not barns. Feed and tend His sheep.
What are your thoughts? Comment below.
Live your life Kingdom First!