Contrary to what certain branches of Christianity teach, we cannot always get what we want in this life. Certainly there are times when God blesses us beyond our wildest dreams, and for those times we should be eternally grateful. But, we have a loving Heavenly Father who is omniscient (all-knowing) and thus wise enough to know what we need and when we need it.
Our perspective of things is so warped and skewed by this world that it cannot be trusted. We are bombarded with influences that lead us to believe we must have certain things in order to be content. Whether a new high-tech gadget or a bigger/better home; it is hard to function in this life without falling prey to the mistaken belief that we know what is best for us.
True Christianity is all about what we are willing to sacrifice or live without and not how much we can get in this life. True Christianity is built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ who so loved us that He gave His life for us. True Christianity has its roots in the absolute reality that without God saving us, we would be dead.
There is absolutely no place in our faith for hoarding, selfishness or greed. True love involves giving, not taking. The true expression of our love for Jesus Christ is found in our willingness to give everything and anything we can to help another person come to know our Savior. It breaks our Lord’s heart when His people seek only to get rather than to give.
It is indeed a fine line between laying claim to the promises of God given to us and demanding we get anything and everything we want just because we are His children. We certainly have been given power and the freedom to enter God’s presence and boldly come to His throne of grace. But, we have not been given a blank check to purchase everything the world promises will make us happy.
God gave us power mainly so we can help others. The freedom of access we have to His throne is mainly for worship and prayer. When these incredible privileges are abused or used for selfish gain, the whole reason for Jesus giving His life is mocked and shamed. We have received so much in order that we may give more and more.
I once knew a man who made millions in his business and gave nearly 95% of his earnings to the ministry. Although he could have lived in the lap of luxury, he willingly chose to lead a simple life in order to freely give to the ministry he loved. Yes, this man wanted to make money, but only so he had more to give.
When we give up trying to please ourselves and devote ourselves to others, we learn what this life as a Christian is supposed to be all about. No truer words could ever be spoken than “It is more blessed (a blessing) to give than to receive”.
My husband and I are hosting a class about finances. One of the questions discussed last week was to share what people would want to do if they were debt-free. There is a woman in the class that I have known for several years. Her husband has early onset Alzheimer's and it progressed rapidly to the point that he could no longer be cared for at home. The debt in the home is rising steadily.
She suddenly burst out her grief about how she would hear about people in need and her inability to give. This was her dream, B2Y. To be able to freely give to others; people who were dealing with the types of things she was facing right now. What a blessing it would be to be able to reach out and bless them.
I am a firm believer that God blesses us so that we may in turn pass that blessing onto others, one way or another. When I could no longer work and we faced a devastating financial crisis, my husband and I knew that was not the time to stop giving. I remember how that became a prayer for us. "Lord, help us to be able to continue to give!" God honored that prayer and has faithfully allowed us to continue to give even more than what we previously gave... there is more than enough.
"I am a firm believer that God blesses us so that we may in turn pass that blessing onto others, one way or another."
I agree with K on this one.
God does not give to us to keep everything for ourselves we are to share with others -meet needs where and when we can and however we can.
B2Y said "When we give up trying to please ourselves and devote ourselves to others, we learn what this life as a Christian is supposed to be all about. No truer words could ever be spoken than “It is more blessed (a blessing) to give than to receive”.
Amen and Amen!
You know Beth, after reading this once again, I recalled a couple of incidents. The first one was when my van died in 2009, a couple of weeks before Dave and I were going to drive down and visit you and Kirk for the very first time. I thought we were going to have to cancel the trip and when I called Kirk to tell him about it and ask him to pray, I was not prepared for his response. Yes, of course you two would pray for us to get an affordable replacement for money was tight but in the meantime...
He gave us use of a van he wasn't using at the moment. He let two people whom he had never met in person get in his van and drive it 500 miles. He let them use it until they were able to get another vehicle and then he came and got it. Not many people would do that but Kirk did.
The other time is when we were plunged into a financial crisis due to sudden health problems. Once again, Kirk prayed but...
A few days later I went to my mailbox and discovered a card from the B2Y Ranch with a check for $300.00. I was floored for I certainly did not expect that. We did likewise when we learned of a crisis at the B2Y Ranch. Then it was our turn to be blessed once again. Kirk and I chuckled over how many times that $300.00 was passed back and forth.
When I think about Kirk, one of the words that come to mind was that he was a giver. He did not merely talk about giving, he did it and he did so with no expectation of some sort of reward or praise. He simply did it. If you were in crisis, you could be confident that he would be there for you. He might not be able to fix the problem but you knew you weren't alone. You had a friend who was right there with you trying to support you any way he could and of course, praying diligently for you.