Giving, Saving, Investing
Going back to God’s word can often be challenging. And when I read these verses on giving, I feel my faith being challenged. Why did Jesus tell us to do such things? It’s easy for Him to say when He doesn’t have a family to provide for. The Bible also says, “Anyone who does not provide for his own household is worse than an unbeliever.”
Trusting Jesus is hard. Going to church and reading the Bible every day, really doesn’t show trust in Jesus. How does going to church to bang pieces around on Sunday show trust in Jesus? But then when you think about how culturally odd and what a pain it would be to bring the homeless into your home, we can easily see how that would be trusting Jesus. Visiting widows and orphans in their distress, seems like a waste of my time because they can’t help me. Widows and especially orphans can’t make my life more comfortable, they cannot give me anything back.
I would rather just throw parties for my friends and scratch others’ backs so they will scratch mine. Not to mention, people will like me more. I don’t care what orphans think about me, I want to impress others/my peers, preferably good looking and/or wealthy people.
James 1:27 - Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
To keep myself unspotted from the world is even more difficult, for me. Of course following Christ is not supposed to be easy. What does it mean to keep myself “unspotted from the world”. No TV, radio, magazines, internet, etc.? I will have to pray on that one and see what God’s Spirit reveals to me. The easiest thing for me to do is just get in a routine of going to church, giving some money to my church and other ministries, reading the Bible, and praying. Go through my little check list and that is my sad definition of following Christ. I wonder what would happen if I really started making changes to my behavior based on what I was reading in God’s word. The Bible says a whole lot more about giving and getting out of debt than it does about how to invest money that has been saved. God’s word also says not to save up too much money. Speaking of Jesus, the King, here are some things he tells us about giving:
Matt hew 25:34-40 - Then the King will say to those at His right hand, Come, you blessed of My Father [you favored of God and appointed to eternal salvation], inherit (receive as your own) the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me, I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me. Then the just and upright will answer Him, Lord, when did we see You hungry and gave You food, or thirsty and gave You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You? And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me. Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'
Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.' "Then those 'goats' will be herded to their eternal doom, but the 'sheep' to their eternal reward."
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