Vol.IX No.I Pg.1
March 1972

How Much, How Often--

Robert F. Turner

There is nothing more completely opposed to the true spirit of Chris­tianity than the attitude back of the questions, How much, how many, how often, must I serve the Lord? It is appalling that some would argue such.

Years back a man handed me a paper which listed his income, rent, food bill, utilities, etc.; and said, Now you have the facts. Tell me, how much must I give to the Lord? I asked if he thought he should visit the sick, help the needy; and when he said he did, I asked, How often?

He seemed a bit puzzled, so I sug­gested 50 times per week — and he thought he would do well to get in that many calls. But I persisted: On Saturday afternoon when you have just made your fiftieth call and are on your way home, you meet a brother who is destitute, obviously worthy, and you have the means to assist him. Do you say, Im sorry I can not help you now. I have made my 50 for this week-- but hang on, drink water, and Ill see you first thing Monday. (?) How does one measure service that is patterned after Gods love for us? If a fellow just must have figures or percents, he should be given them from the scriptures; like 100% — all that she had, even all her living. (Mk. 12:44) Or, Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Lu. 14:33) Are you amazed? (Matt. 19:25—f)

A genuine Christian does not dole out an hour or two, a few dollars, or a pound of mercy for God. He first gives himself (2 Cor. 8:5 Matt. 16:24) and from then on his service is limited only by ability and opportunity. Thats the meaning of as prospered (1 Cor. 16:2) i.e., in keeping with what God has given you. God gave life to Stephen, and when the service of God called for it, Stephen gave it back to God. (Acts 7:59)

When Jesus said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matt. 22:37); He left no place for and 10% of thy money, and one hour per week of thy time. I be­lieve Jesus will go fishing with you (Lu. 5:4—f); but dont forget, you are doing it on His time.