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God gave us material things to bless others

“God gave us material things to bless others. Earthly things have their maximum value only when they are used to bless and help others and not when they are used merely for ourselves and our families.”
― Zac Poonen, The Day of Small Beginnings’

 

 

If you keep asking for God’s blessings for yourself but are only interested to use it for yourself and your families then don’t even call yourself a believer of Jesus Christ. Such a behavior is not fitting the attributes of a true Christian.

Some people are so vile or maybe ignorant that they say ‘God bless me with ‘just’ enough for me and my family’. Because somehow they feel that they can then excuse themselves when others are in need saying that they don’t have anything to spare.

Perhaps they have never heard about Jesus speaking about the Good Samaritan who helped the man who was robbed and left for half dead. Or perhaps they they know but don’t feel it applies to them. I have news for you – being generous to others who are in need is not optional for those who claim to profess the Christ faith! And this is confirmed by the Holy Scriptures as given in Matthew 25:31-46 below:

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”

Quick reminder: Help the poor and needy 

For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ (Deuteronomy 15:11)

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17)

Jesus said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14: 12-14)

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-39)

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. (James 1:27)

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8)

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35)

The generosity of Abraham at Mamre

All praise unto the Lord God and to Christ Jesus his son. O Lord, you are indeed the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. You have fulfilled your promises to Abraham and given him a heritage by which many are being blessed today and evermore in the future. Fill us with hope and generosity towards the poor and needy. Teach by your Holy Spirit to find opportunities to serve in your Kingdom and be a blessing to your servants and friends. Amen.

Abraham and Sarah at Mamre - artwork by Felix Fossey ( 1826-1895)

Abraham and Sarah at Mamre – artwork by Felix Fossey ( 1826-1895)

The instance of the generosity of Abraham at Mamre in mentioned in Genesis 18:1-16 as mentioned below:

18 And the Lord appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” And Abraham went quickly into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Three seahs of fine flour! Knead it, and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd and took a calf, tender and good, and gave it to a young man, who prepared it quickly. Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate.

They said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “She is in the tent.” 10 The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” 13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” 15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”

16 Then the men set out from there, and they looked down toward Sodom. And Abraham went with them to set them on their way.

The above verses have lots of implications with regards to how it affected the course of destiny for Abraham. For now let’s look at this from the perspective of being generous.

Abraham had great respect for the Lord God and believed in him. So he sought to be generous towards God and did all this for the Lord out of freewill.  He was not expecting to get anything out of that but simply wanted to respect the Lord God by his deeds. However, the Lord God too wanted to be generous towards Abraham and confirmed his promise that Sarah would bear a child. Now Sarah was not sure about this as looked her old age. Yet, the Lord God knew her thoughts and corrected her about that though she was afraid about even admitting that she laughed about it. God was faithful to his promise to Abraham and blessed him abundantly despite his wife’s initial wonderment.

The Lord expects his people to be generous and promises to pay back them. Like Abraham we too are encouraged to be generous towards God. We can express this by being kind and generous to the poor, to the servants of God and to his people in need.

You can refer to the below verses:

  1. Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. (Ecclesiastes 11:1)
  2. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
  3. Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19: 17)
  4. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10)

So what I mean is that God rewards those who are generous towards him. He will remember what you’ve given to him and pay you back in just measure. This is not about someone asking you for money always. Now at time’s money is needed but there’s other things too. You can invest time with the needy, give some water, say a kind word etc.

Of course you can even be a blessing to people who are outside the faith. There is no limit to generosity in the name of the Lord God as long as you are not compromising on the teachings of the Gospel.

Be generous to those who want good counsel. Encourage someone who is trying to quit smoking etc. This way you help that person have a healthy lifestyle. Be kind to waiters at the restaurants. Watch out for unattended children’s safety at parks, malls etc. Seriously, there is no limit to goodwill if you do it right and for the glory of God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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