Will you be like the spider or a faithful servant?
November 1, 2005
As I approached my car a peculiar sight caught my attention. During the night a spider had built a web on my car. It was a beautiful web, but it was where the web was built that struck me. The spider had built its web between my tire and the fender above it.
You can just imagine what might have been going through its little spider brain. It may have been thinking, “O what a wonderful place to catch little flying things!” Well, I don’t believe that spiders really think, but if I were that little guy, I would have thought that. You know, always planning on how I was going to catch the next meal.
As I sat in the driver’s seat and started the car I began to think how foolish the spider was for thinking the tire on my car would be a good place to build a home. The next thought followed right in line: It’s sad how often people are like the foolish spider. People toil, work and sweat building homes that are temporary at best. We live in a world that is temporary, and the “webs” we build are too.
According to God’s plan we cannot take any earthly things with us, but we can save our efforts if we invest ourselves in serving Him. Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal (Matt. 6:19-20).”
How can you save your earthly efforts? How can you turn earthly efforts into treasures in heaven? You can do that by investing in eternity and the people who are going there. You do that by investing your life and possessions today for eternal purposes. Your motivation should not be, “I will give to get.” Your heart should be motivated by a love for and obedience to the Lord Jesus. Give to Him because He first gave Himself for you!
I have never given a dime to a church or a building program. Every dime I have given is to the Lord Jesus. I trust the Lord will keep that heart in me. Unfortunately I have met some “Christians” who think that the money they give is theirs. As such, they want to keep strings on it, they want to control it after it’s been given. These ‘gifts’ have never really been given. Let me share an incident from some years ago.
A church in our area had slowly shrunk down to a size where they could no longer pay their pastor and bills. They approached me and asked if they could become a mission of our church. It was obvious that the two men who approached me in this first meeting had sincere hearts about the kingdom. After many days of prayer and meetings, both churches agreed and this church disbanded and became a mission. Fifty plus of our best people began attending the new mission and some of the mission’s people came into our fellowship and we began the new work. Then an incident occurred that showed an underlying heart condition which was a key factor in the death of this once vibrant church.
The mission church had an organ that our repairman said was beyond help. In its place we bought an electronic keyboard that could perform all the functions of the old organ plus many more. Everyone was happy except a man who came to the mission church’s service over two months later. After the service he ‘confronted’ (in a very hostile tone) the new mission pastor about what happened to the organ. The simple answer was, the old organ was beyond repair and it was replaced. This man then said, “No one asked me if they could do that!” To which our mission pastor replied, “Why should we consult you? Who are you?” His response was, “Did you not see the plaque on the side of the organ? I am the one who gave it to the church.”
Do you see the problem? In his heart, this man never really gave anything. He still wanted to control and have his strings attached to everything. Since the church had been disbanded, he was not a member of anything. There were no members. But he still wanted control. This was indicative of the attitudes that destroyed this church in the first place. This was a selfish man and his ‘gifts’ did not store up for him “treasures in heaven.”
How can you store up “treasures in heaven?” Give – not to things, or organizations – but to the Lord Jesus. Give with the right heart attitude. Give to His Kingdom. Give to missions that bring souls to Jesus – like your church, the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon. When you give and souls come to Jesus, you are investing in eternity and the people who are going there.
The end came quickly for the spider and its nest. It gives a vivid reminder that the end of time will also come quickly. When the end comes it will mean one of two things: reward or ruin. Again Jesus says, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done” (Rev. 2:12).
Each person has to decide what he or she wants God to see when this world comes to an end. Will God see a foolish spider coming into ruin or a faithful servant coming into reward? It’s your decision.”