Saturday, November 1st, 2014
Leadership (Part 43)
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, Who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NKJV)
He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NKJV)
When James said, 'Not many of you should become teachers' (James 3:1), perhaps not many of us should become wealthy, either. 'It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God' (Matthew 19:24). Because where power and money are concerned, we face a temptation to hoard.
Generosity stands in opposition to hoarding. Generosity is known by open arms, big hearts and a constant willingness to share. Hoarding is known by closed fists, big banks and a constant desire for more.
Generosity invites God to reward us: 'One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed' (Proverbs 19:17). Hoarding invites God to deplete us: 'The wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous' (Proverbs 13:22).
In the Old Testament, God made His position on generosity clear: 'If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs' (Deuteronomy 15:7-8).
In the New Testament, Jesus made the result for hoarding clear: 'There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table' (Luke 16:19-21).* Both men died. Once done, they traded positions.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: Be generous with your talent. Perform in humble places. Encourage hurting hearts. Share the stage with others. If you do, God will lift you up.
Be generous with your possessions. Tithing is important. Hoarding is forbidden. Give away unneeded items. If you do, God will give you more.
Be generous with your time. God time is prime time. Family time is good time. Mission work is all the time. If you spend your time wisely, God will lengthen it. Because here's how He works:
'Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you' (Luke 6:38).
To Be Continued...
*The Story of the Rich Man and Lazarus: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+16%3A19-31&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Leadership series.