In the 12th chapter of Luke Jesus says:
Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.- Luke 12:15 (NLT)
Then he proceeds to tell his listeners a story about a rich man. He refers to the man as "a certain rich man" so this story may have literally taken place. Perhaps some of his listeners had even known this man and were well-aware of whom Jesus was talking about.
This man had been so blessed and he more than likely had already given. You see, while we can't be certain if the man had complied or not, according to the Law, he was not supposed to reap the the very edges of his field. He was supposed to leave some for the poor.
When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. Leave it for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the LORD your God.- Leviticus 23:22 (NLT)
There is a strong possibility that this man had already done what he considered to be his part. Surely that was enough... or was it?
According to Jesus, this man had been blessed so much that his barns could not contain the excess. In other words, he had been given far more than enough to provide for himself and his family. God had given him enough to amply provide for both himself and others.
His first thought is not to thank God for this blessing nor does he ever consider blessing others in need with the excess as well. His first thought is how he could stockpile it all and live in peace and prosperity all of his days. God calls him a fool and the man dies that very night. He lost it all.
This man may very well have left the gleanings for the poor as dictated by the law. He may have given what was required but when he saw that he still had more than enough, he hoarded it instead.
There is giving that God requires of you and then the sort of giving that we give above and beyond that when God has blessed us abundantly. This is the sort of giving where we often fall short. We want to give God what we consider His fair share... the same old, same old, while He blesses us more and more.
God blesses us for three reasons.
He blesses us because He loves us even though we do not deserve His love.
He blesses us because wanting to please Him, we have brought Him pleasure and He delights in giving us pleasure as well.
He blesses us so that we might in turn have the joy of blessing others.
When we bless others we experience a fragment of the joy God has in blessing us. It is like giving someone a gift from the heart. They are the recipient of that gift but we are the giver. We eagerly await their response and what joy we feel when we see the pleasure our gift has given to them.
What joy God feels when He sees His children take what He has given them and share it with others. Why, that just makes God want to bless them some more so they can repeat that action over and over and over again.
A few of years ago, after getting out of the hospital I did not receive a paycheck for nearly two months. It was a difficult time for my family. I remember going to the mailbox one day and opening up a letter from a friend which contained a check. A while later, when we were back on our feet, that same friend was going through a challenging time. Remembering how our friend had blessed off, we sent off a check for that same amount. LOL! I don't know how many times we ended up passing that same amount around for whenever a financial challenge came up, we would pass the buck to one another literally!
Many years ago, as a child, I learned a little poem which said:
If you truly love Jesus, Then do not delay, Share what you have, With someone today.
When we do so, we are recognizing that our treasure is not of this world. What we have belongs to God and we are simply His stewards.
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.- Luke 12:24 (NLT)
Where is your treasure?
Good blog. I had a thought as I read the verse from Leviticus. God didn't say to pick up what the harvesters left on the ground and give it to the poor. He also didn't say cut the grain from the perimeter of the field and give it to the poor. He said to leave those amounts in place for them to get for themselves. In other words, rather than just giving them some of his grain, God told the farmer to let the poor take some for themselves. It required some effort on their part. Also, they were not entitled to as much as they wanted. The amount left for them was a controlled quantity. - bibleguy64