Sunday, February 14, 2010

More With Less

It is almost twenty years since I sensed God's call to the ministry. At the time I was managing a small high-tech company with a license from British Telecom and I had a neat idea to integrate mid-infrared transmitting optical fibers and Fourier Transform Spectrometers (it was as complicated as it sounds). But, we had a problem – lack of finances. The company was underfunded from the outset. So, when I took over as CEO I knew I had to make some difficult decisions. I didn't make them alone. Our CFO was a Christian and we committed the business to the Lord. By a combination of hard work and close cooperation our small team accomplished a lot more than we ever
thought we could with a lot less capital than we thought we needed. We did more with less.

When God's call came to leave the business world and train for the ministry I faced a similar problem. I had a daughter in her first year of college, a mortgage, a car payment and the usual household and living expenses. Although God's call was unmistakable, and I was confident that he would make it possible for me to quit my full time job and go to Seminary – at the time I could not see how He would provide, but God could. Mickie and I committed everything to the Lord. On graduating three years later we had paid off all college and seminary fees as well as the cars. My income during those three years was considerably less than when I worked full time. We did more with less.

The Bible is full of stories (real historical events) where those who trusted the Lord accomplished great things with limited resources. We think of how Gideon defeated a great army with just a few hundred men; how the young shepherd boy David brought down the mighty Goliath; how Jesus multiplied a few loaves and fishes to feed thousands; how twelve disciples turned the world upside down. Throughout Scripture God is shown time after time to be able to bring victory out of apparent defeat and to accomplish tremendous things through a single person or a handful of people
who trust Him to do the impossible. They did more with less.

Nor does the story end with the Scriptures. Church history bears testimony that God has not been idle in the nineteen centuries since the closing of the canon. The history of missions is the story of Jesus building His church with what seems to be utterly inadequate resources in the face of overwhelming opposition. Everywhere the gospel has gone it has been contested by the forces of darkness, and everywhere it has flourished. Think of how Christianity spread across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, Asia, the Americas and then back to Africa and into the farthest reaches of Asia and the islands of the seas. Almost always the gospel has been carried into the unreached regions by a single individual or a very few equipped with little more than a few bags of belongings – but buttressed by faith and prayer. They did more with less.

The Bible, history and our own experience teach us very clearly that God is in the business of accomplishing his purposes through men and women who recognize their weakness and trust in His strength, who see themselves as small but know they have a big God. Rehoboth Baptist Church is smaller now than in recent years. But God isn't. I just wanted to remind you of that and encourage you with the fact that God is yet at work among us. We will see Him do great things through us if we will trust Him. If we will, He will see to it that we do more with less (Phil. 4:13).

Grace and Peace to you.
Pastor Ron Bridge

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