Seizing Opportunities by Faith

Lifestyles of the Rich…. Grenada Family Network Report, Spring 2019

This is the super-yacht Rising Sun. Last weekend it was docked in Grenada. If you are above a certain age, you probably remember a popular TV show from 1980’s called “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. This ship is just the thing which could have been featured on that show, but it might have been better titled, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Selfish.” The owner of Rising Sun has made billions of dollars since the 1980’s producing and selling the Devil’s music and movies. (78 million $100 bills to be exact. Or to put it another way, a stack of $100 bills 5.3 miles high.) Sin is very profitable apparently, but only for a short time. Eternity awaits those who love Jesus!

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain [a massive stack of paper], and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36

If properly used, the money tied up in this one ship could fund God’s work throughout the world for several years, and yet for the most part God’s work is languishing. Why must it be so?

If you are curious about this ship like I was, you can read more details here: https://www.superyachtfan.com/superyacht_rising_sun.html

 

There is no lack of money or resources in this world, only a lack of love.

A lack of love? Yes, whether someone is a billionaire or nearly destitute, we all suffer from the same lack of other-centered love, what the New Testament writers called agape. Jesus even admonished the early church—which turned the world upside down with the gospel—“thou hast left thy first love.” (Rev 2:4). What would He say to us living in the most prosperous period of history?

Most people have a natural desire to be wealthy. I certainly do, so I’m preaching to myself as much as anyone. Even if you don’t particularly care for the type of conspicuous wealth pictured above or dream of cruising the world in a 454 foot luxury ship, you still probably want to enjoy the comforts and security that money can bring. There is nothing wrong with that to a point, but there is a serious question which every one of us should ask ourselves. 

Is money, or even the desire for money, keeping me from surrendering all to Jesus?

The Apostle Paul wrote this fatherly warning to his young protégé Timothy:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:6-10

You see, if we love money or the things money can buy, that automatically means we place a greater value upon things, than upon the cause of God or the needs of others. You and I can’t love money, and at the same time love God with an undivided heart. Like oil and water, these two motives don’t mix, no matter how good our intentions might be.

Sister White had this amazing thought which really impacted me a few years ago when I first read it:

The danger of God’s people for a few years past has been the love of the world. Out of this have sprung the sins of selfishness and covetousness. The more they get of this world, the more they set their affections on it; and still they reach out for more. Said the angel: “It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” Yet many who profess to believe that we are having the last note of warning to the world, are striving with all their energies to place themselves in a position where it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for them to enter the kingdom. {1T 141.2}

Can you imagine it? Everyone says that they want to go to heaven, but many are striving with all their energies” to make sure they can’t get there. It seems “right” to work hard and carefully save as much money as possible for a comfortable life and retirement, “but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Pro 14:12).

These earthly treasures are blessings when rightly used. Those who have them should realize that they are lent them of God and should cheerfully spend their means to advance His cause. They will not lose their reward here. They will be kindly regarded by the angels of God and will also lay up a treasure in heaven. {1T 141.3}

Do you want to be kindly regarded by angels? The answer is simple. Let the Owner of “your possessions” tell you how to use the money and resources He has loaned you. Time, talent, energy and physical possessions, all must be laid upon the altar in order for self to die and the glory of God be seen in our lives.

One of the issues I’m am struggling with personally is how to consistently walk by faith, trusting that God will provide and direct Grenada Family Network, without also depending or trusting in money, credit cards, or wealthy people who can give this ministry money. Anyone who handles thousands of dollars a month can face this danger.

In moments of day dreaming I sometimes imagine meeting a wealthy individual (fill in a name) who is so impressed with Grenada Family Network that he/she decides to fund all of our monthly expenses and future plans for growth. Then the Holy Spirit gently reminds me, “‘Thou shalt not covet,’ even for reasons which you think are good.”

Could it be….”, I wondered, Am I the reason God can’t bless GFN more than He does?” I pray that is not the case!! If God opened the windows of heaven and poured out everything we want as a ministry, would that really fulfill God’s plan for GFN or for me personally? God is too kind to do anything which would cause me to lose eternal life, or give others the impression that serving God will bring them fabulous wealth while they remain loveless and selfish.

He who blessed the nobleman at Capernaum [John 4:46] is just as desirous of blessing us. But like the afflicted father, we are often led to seek Jesus by the desire for some earthly good; and upon the granting of our request we rest our confidence in His love. The Saviour longs to give us a greater blessing than we ask; and He delays the answer to our request that He may show us the evil of our own hearts, and our deep need of His grace. He desires us to renounce the selfishness that leads us to seek Him. Confessing our helplessness and bitter need, we are to trust ourselves wholly to His love. {DA 200.3}

Every few months, it looks like GFN radio will die a painful financial death and go off the air forever, and yet God comes through just in time, but each time He seems to take us closer and closer to disaster before our prayers are answered. The irony is that God doesn’t even need money to get His message out. What He really needs and desires is the undivided hearts of His professed people; a motive which the Apostle Paul termed “faith which works by love” (Gal 5:6).

God is gradually teaching me the importance of total dependence on Him. We are rapidly approaching a time when “every earthly support will be cut off” and we will have to face the choice of faithfulness to God or apparent death.

What will you do when you wake up one morning to find all your bank accounts frozen and only a few days of food in the house? You had better know how you will respond before the crisis hits because when it happens it will be much more shocking and painful than expected! The only way to know how you will respond is to be daily advancing on the path to heaven which can only be done by faith. (2 Peter 1:5-8).

I was shown that it is the will of God that the saints should cut loose from every encumbrance before the time of trouble comes, and make a covenant with God through sacrifice. If they have their property on the altar and earnestly inquire of God for duty, He will teach them when to dispose of these things. Then they will be free in the time of trouble and have no clogs to weigh them down. {EW 56.3}

What does it mean to “make a covenant with God through sacrifice?” It means we are willing, by faith, to test God’s promises to take care of us. As we see that God is faithful, our faith will grow in response.

In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus promises, “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”

In Romans 8:32, the Apostle Paul writes: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.

In Philippians 4:19, Paul writes, “But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

1 John 5:14, 15 says, This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us: and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know, that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”

Do you suppose these promises are only for poor people, or those who physically can’t help themselves? NO! They are for everyone, but too many of us (even missionaries) are in the habit of supplying all our own needs, so we don’t think we need God very much. This is only a small sample of dozens of promises we should be learning and claiming everyday. Truly, there is no situation we can face that God has not already provided a solution for.

Our heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know nothing. {DA 330.1}

To make a covenant with God through sacrifice, means that when the Holy Spirit points out a need and impresses us to help, we cheerfully do much more than our natural heart thinks is safe or reasonable.

At the risk of being thought of as fools, more than 10 years ago my wife and I decided to put our life savings into God’s work. God might not ask the same of you. He leads each one differently, but for us it was the right decision. We have sacrificed a new car, a nice house, and the luxury of buying the latest gadgets, but we have never gone hungry, or homeless, or without adequate clothes all these years. God gets all the glory. We are nobody.

The News

God continues to bless Grenada Family Network. There is much more that I could share, but this newsletter has gone too long without much news.

God has brought exciting new opportunities for growth, which I am not at liberty to share right now. For the present time it seems He is focusing mainly on the character growth of the missionaries. This is difficult to bear sometimes, but we are thankful for each painful experience, because He has promised to work all things together for our good.

Over the past few months we have had opportunities to meet many of the neighbors within ¼ mile of us. We have given out many copies of The Great Controversy, Steps to Christ and The Desire of Ages. As we go around town, we hand out 91.3 FM Invitation to Listen cards. Samra recently asked a young lady, “Have you heard of the radio station 91.3?” Her instant reply was, “Every morning!” How many hundreds of secret listeners are out there, whom we will never have the privilege of meeting till heaven?

Since February our donations have been down. As a result we are 2 months behind on tower rental and electricity. Monday night I got an automated call from the power company suggesting disconnection was imminent. I attempted to make a partial payment and was told it wasn’t enough. I am at total peace with the situation. After 48 hours our signal is still on and will remain on until God pays the bill or doesn’t pay it. It’s not my problem. The meter is at the top of a steep and rutted mountain road and God will decide if and when we go off the air, not Grenlec.

In our lifework we know not which shall prosper, this or that. This is not a question for us to settle. We are to do our work, and leave the results with God. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand.” Ecclesiastes 11:6. God’s great covenant declares that “while the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest … shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22. In the confidence of this promise the husbandman tills and sows. Not less confidently are we in the spiritual sowing to labor, trusting His assurance, “So shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth; it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11. “He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:6. {COL 65.1}

It pains me to even share our needs. Many of you are faithful supporters and have given generously to GFN. Thank you! We know from experience that there will sometimes be weeping, but a time of rejoicing is coming! God be praised!

Steve

 


Current needs:

  • Prayers for wisdom, strength, protection, and provision.
  • Prayers that the enemy will be driven back as we conquer new territory in 2019.
  • Regular monthly gifts of $10, $20, $50 or more to cover our $4,000 USD/month budget.
  • $977 for Mt. Maitland electricity.
  • $1,895 for tower rental.
  • $5,699 for a new radio broadcast computer. (Our current hardware is 10 years old and could fail any time. See: https://www.bsiusa.com/product/computers/air-studio/
  • $14,322 to settle a debt for past design and engineering work.

 

How to help:

You can donate online: http://gospelministry.org/donations/

Or by phone at: 423-473-1841

Or you can send a tax deductible donation to:

Gospel Ministries International
PO Box 506
Collegedale, TN 37315

 

Kindly include a separate note that your donation is for Grenada Media Ministry.

Contact us directly:

Steve and Samra Shedell
PO Box 2747
St. Paul’s, St. George’s
Grenada, West Indies

 

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