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A Wise Investment

Dear Friends,

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to give a friend a tour of our church, and explain the work God has called us to do in west Tulsa. Our church is fairly different than most of the churches in our area; and I guess a simple way to describe it is to say that we’re a church that’s doing Christian community development in a high poverty community. So we have a church building where we do normal “church stuff”, like Sunday morning worship and mid-week Bible studies. But then we also do other things to help folks in the community with their practical needs. So we have a food bank, a clothing pantry, counseling services, social work assistance, transportation help, mentoring programs, and help with legal services. It’s a unique type of work, and as I was giving the tour I was reminded of a man named Clark Millspaugh who long ago helped us get started.

Well over a decade ago, Clark was a local businessperson who sensed God calling him to use his time and money to start a relational ministry in a high-poverty community. The goal was to help meet practical needs of low-income, underserved folks as a way to connect with them and share the gospel message. In 2010 Clark invited us to plant our church in the community he was working in, because the vision God had given Clark was complementary to the vision He had given us when we started our church. So it really was a “match made in heaven.”

Unfortunately, shortly after we partnered with Clark, he was diagnosed with a rare cancer and passed away. But Clark left an amazing legacy in the work that The Harvest is still doing over a decade after his death. Rarely does a church service, event, or interaction with someone from the neighborhood go by when I’m not reminded that everything we’re doing here is being built on the foundation Clark laid all those years ago.

As I was giving the tour this past week, and remembering how God used Clark to help launch our ministry in west Tulsa, I was reminded that God’s desire for all of us is that we do the same thing Clark did. In other words, God wants us to take the resources He’s given us, and invest them in ways that will glorify Him and advance His Kingdom. Romans 14:7-8 makes this clear when it tells us, “For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”

God wants us to live for Him, not for ourselves. Which means that we no longer look at our resources - our time, money, stuff, relationships, plans - as being for us and for our pleasure. Instead, everything we have is for God, and to be used for His purposes. And when we live that way, investing what we have in God’s work, then we will be like my friend Clark. We will be building a legacy that will outlive us, as God uses what He gave us, and what we returned to Him, to move His work forward.

So today, my encouragement to all of us is that we ask God to help us invest what He’s given us into His work. Let’s ask God to help us surrender all we have, and all we are, for the building of His Kingdom. God may put any number of things on our hearts if we sincerely ask Him what He’d like us to surrender. If part of His answer is giving you an interest in partnering with The Harvest and the work we’re doing, just follow the link below to see ways you can be involved in supporting what God is doing in west Tulsa. But whether God calls you to invest in the Harvest, or elsewhere, my prayer is that each of us will daily surrender all we have and all we are to Him!




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