Thursday, June 18th, 2015
Giving (Part 9)
Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they'll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, His gift. No language can praise it enough!
2 Corinthians 9:12-15 (The Message)
If poor brethren are rich in godly contentment, if rich brethren are poor in overriding peace; if poor brethren wait patiently for help to come, if rich brethren can fulfill their expectations; if giving to others invites God to bless us... then shouldn't the rich give to the poor at all times?
If a poor believer is covered in the righteousness of God and little else, if the simplicity of his life and heart clear a path for his prayers to be heard, then when he prays for his benefactors, these prayers are 'Powerful and effective' (James 5:16).*
Actors, models and talent for Christ: your entry into the mission field of media puts you in the middle of the world's richest messaging system. Arguably, celebrity is our #1 export. But a celebrity's talent is just the bait. It's celebrity lifestyles that make their fans sink.**
The result is obvious. Poor people become poorer. Fans imitate their favorite stars: makeup will make them more attractive; no-guilt s_x is fun and expected; possessions will give them position, and selfishness yields satisfaction. All these myths are bogus lies.
As God's 21st century ambassadors, the stuff you strut is not your own. In you, simple is beautiful. You show the poor something better; living unselfishly brings joy. Your life is a welcoming Book. Others are eager to read It.
Because you are written in Christ. Isn't fishing for God and helping the poor the purpose of your talent?
To Be Continued...
* 'The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective' (James 5:16, NIV).
** 'A fishing sinker is a weight used in conjunction with a fishing lure or hook to increase its rate of sink, anchoring ability, and/or casting distance' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fishing_sinker).
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Giving series.