4. We should live more simply—and give more generously—because of the reward we’ll receive in Heaven and the joy it will bring us.
If I choose a smaller house here on earth and invest the savings in God’s kingdom, God will give me eternal treasures in Heaven that will make a big house on earth seem utterly trivial. Why settle for an expensive necklace now when by selling it and giving the money to meet needs it could contribute to an imperishable treasure in eternity?
5. We should live more simply—and give more generously—because of the dire spiritual needs of the world.
Suppose God wanted to reach the world for Christ and help an unprecedented number of suffering people. What might you expect Him to put in the hands of His delivery people? Unprecedented wealth to meet all those needs and reach all those people? Well, He’s done it, hasn’t He? The question is, what are we doing with it?
John Piper makes this observation:
Three billion people today are outside Jesus Christ. Two-thirds of them have no viable Christian witness in their culture. If they are to hear—and Christ commands that they hear—then cross-cultural missionaries will have to be sent and paid for. All the wealth needed to send this new army of good news ambassadors is already in the church. If we, like Paul, are content with the simple necessities of life, hundreds of millions of dollars in the church would be released to take the gospel to the frontiers. The revolution of joy and freedom it would cause at home would be the best local witness imaginable.
6. We should live more simply—and give more generously—because of the world’s urgent physical needs.
“[Agabus] stood up and through the Spirit predicted that a severe famine would spread over the entire Roman world. (This happened during the reign of Claudius.) The disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul” (Acts11:28-30).
Here is the biblical pattern for giving: see a need, give to meet it. Giving according to our ability means living on less than God has entrusted to us. If He has entrusted us with a great deal, as He has most people reading this, it means living on far less so we can deliver the excess to the needy. That way they will not have too little and we will not have too much—exactly what God intends, according to 2 Corinthians 8:14.