How generous are you? I ask this since Paul said, “but this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) Now, if I was to ask you if you often give to family members, would you say yes? How about your friends, co-workers, or students (if you are a teacher)? And lastly people you do not know, like the homeless or people who are hurting financially I ask this since God can see your heart. He knows if you would rather receive than to give. And He also knows if who you are giving to is simply your immediate family and nobody else. And do you think that is ok? Of course not, for Jesus even mentions a rich man who had everything he wanted, but giving to people in need, like the homeless he avoided. They got nothing from his hand. It is written, “there was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried.” (Luke 16:19-22) And so we have both people, the poor homeless man, and the rich man dying. One person had a funeral fit for kings, but the beggar was lucky to have a tombstone. But, who fared better come down? We shall see as we read more from this story.
Jesus said of the rich man, “and in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” (Luke 16:23-25) And so it is with people who never see the need to help others who are less fortunate. These people will have a rude awakening when they die, for they will also open their eyes in hell. Sure, many of them may have thought that they were saved, but in reality, they never did what Jesus said, which was this… “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14) What Jesus said is often ignored. Instead of inviting the poor to our house to eat, we invite friends, family, and neighbors. And even the times we go out to eat, we don’t invite the homeless to dine with us. However, one thing I know is that the times I have taken the homeless out to eat with me, I have been more blessed than any other time. For this is fulfilling what Jesus said, and I would rather please God than man, who can only look over and stare.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that we will all gain a more generous heart. That people will understand the need to help one another who is less fortunate. This can be our elderly neighbors who need help raking their leaves. Our neighbors, who don’t have the type of snow shovels that we have and need help. People who are trying to start their car and cannot, but we have jumper cables to help them. The homeless that we see on the side of the road, give us over to stop and care for their needs also. Even the times we go out to eat, help us to also invite those people who are less fortunate to join us. Lord, take out of our hearts every ounce of selfishness, stinginess, pride, and judgementalism. If these feelings could just be removed from people, then more people would be open to help more people who are less fortunate than themselves. They would not think that people would misuse their money but become cheerful givers no matter what. Thank You for giving me over to use my money to help people in need. I love to give to full-time missionaries who are in need and could never do this unless you were with me. I love to stop and care for the homeless and others in need. And what is better is to take them out to eat with me and my family. I love to have them in my midst when I dine out for food, no matter what other people think. This brings me more joy than anything else, for this is fulfilling Your perfect will. Even, You are in the room with us. It is because You told us to have people over with us for dinner, that my heart has been more and more open to this than ever before. Thank You for convicting me of my faults and helping me know how to please You and do Your will. I love You, Lord. I give You praise and glory, this day and forever. Amen.