Many of you likely know that Larry Burkett was instrumental in the birth of SMI over 25 years ago. (If not, here's a link to read a short version of those events.) Larry has been with the Lord for over a decade now, but his influence continues to be felt through his writings, ministries like Crown, Compass, and SMI, and the countless people he touched that are now discipling and helping others.
That's a brief introduction to something Larry wrote that I came across this weekend. It's an uncomfortable truth, but especially as people who have been blessed with enough extra resources to be able to invest, it's crucial that we hold ourselves accountable to truths like this.
Nothing prohibits Christians from obeying God more than the tug of material comforts. Once we have adjusted to a lifestyle that includes many comforts, it is very difficult to surrender them to serve God. Obviously, God doesn't call everyone to leave his vocation and go into what is traditionally called "Christian work." God can and does use Christians everywhere. But in order to be used by God in any capacity, a Christian must be willing to serve God no matter what the costs...
Whenever someone asked Christ about what would be expected of him as a follower, he always tested their willingness to surrender everything for God's sake. Without that attitude, we can't even be trusted with material riches because we would spend them on our own indulgences or build bigger barns to store them in.
-Larry Burkett (1939-2003)
From Using Your Money Wisely