Wednesday, December 25, 2013
GENEROSITY THROUGH THE LENS OF ETERNITY
Dallas, Chicago, IL
When viewed through the lens of eternity, Jesus taught us not to store up our treasures on earth where moths and rust can destroy and thieves can break in, but to store our treasures in heaven. All through his teaching, He cautions us not to make wealth our god, because where we devote our time and energies is the same place where our heart resides. Just about anything in this world can become either our master or servant. Wealth can be used for all manner of good in this broken world, but the love of wealth can be eternally destructive. When viewed through the lens of eternity, God is much more concerned with our spiritual character that is everlasting in our heart and not what is temporary in our 401K. Status and wealth mean nothing to God so the poor should not be concerned about being unworthy any more than rich folks should be complacent with material wealth that can be lost overnight. Wealth can create a heightened sense of self-sufficiency which can be used to our advantage, but also our disadvantage. We’re cautioned not to lose sight of the divine presence that enables these blessings and Emanuel who is always with us in case life suddenly goes south and we’re confronted with circumstances beyond our control.
The apostle Paul encourages us in 1 Timothy 6:18 to do good, be rich in good deeds, and be generous and willing to share. In Luke 14:12-14, Jesus taught us about the true attitude of generosity. He suggested that when we invite folks to dine with us that are in a position to repay us, our generosity is essentially canceled out—we simply exchange hospitality and breaking bread together is a nice way to be in relationship. However, Jesus’ illustration of true generosity involves inviting the disenfranchised—the poor, the paralyzed, the lame, and the blind. Why? Simply stated because “they cannot pay you back”. That can also be an acid test of our motives, since God can see into our heart. And when He looks through the lens of eternity and sees that if your heart is in the right place, you will be blessed and rewarded “when his people rise from death”. Sometimes this can be accomplished with direct offerings of time, talents and treasures and other times it can be through donations to an organization that can administer the aid in our community or half way around the world.