Saturday, January 23, 2010


"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."
-Kahil Gbran (novelist and poet)

As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
-Jesus of Nazareth (Luke 21:1-4)

I know what you're thinking (as your eyes roll)...Jeff is about to write concerning money, but you would be wrong (not completely though). The truth is, I'd like to write more about love. More specifically, our love for God. While the quote and scripture provided above could easily point towards money, I think it points to the heart of the matter, something we struggle with as Christians...our heart and how we live out our lives as Christians. In Matthew 22:34-40 we hear Jesus talk about the 'greatest commandment'-that is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. He goes on further and says the 'second is just like it, Love your neighbor as yourself' and that the laws and prophets hang on these two commandments.
Wow! So how does one go about living with a loving heart that is meant for God and for others? I mean we live in a selfish world. We are taught to look out for ourselves, not others. I mean we've grown so desensitized to the afflictions of others that very little moves us anymore. Poverty, hunger, homelessness, and the loss of jobs aren't new to fact, they're so old that we haven't any room for them in our lives. I mean, we go to church, hear about such sadness, but we do nothing ourselves...we always assume or even say 'wow, that's horrible, someone should do something about that'-not thinking that God might be calling us to do something-to step up.
When I think about this, I can't help but remember something else Jesus said: 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me'. Sometimes is really angers me when God's church doesn't do as it should. It's upsetting to know that psychology plays more of a role in our lives than theology. Think about it, we can rationalize anything in our mind to make us feel less guilty or to pass off the guilt onto someone else. I mean being a 'good Christian' is too commonly passed off on those who work in the church, but that's not true. Throughout the Bible God chose mere mortals to do extraordinary things-it's just that it took some convincing on their end. What will it take for you?
Getting back to Jesus talking about the poor woman who gave all she had...did you noticed anything? He was pointing out that she was being faithful...even when she had nothing left. I mean when you truly love God you don't rationalize your next steps, you just do it. You don't come up with excuses as to why you can't do just do it. I know it's easier said than done because I too am a sinner who struggles everyday. But I think we really need to take a step back and ask ourselves...are we living for 'me' or or living for Jesus? I think we have a nasty tendency of planning ahead, planning for a future, but keep God out of the loop. The interesting thing here is that He continues to bless us in-spite of our shortcomings (and most of the time) when things don't work out...then we seek Him-asking out of our God the left overs.
Again, if God blesses us, why do we only give out of our wealth rather than out of what we have been given? Truthfully, God has given us more than money, he has given us family, friends, and our health. Sure, the money helps pay the bills, but doesn't God have missions that need to be carried out (like the Great Commission from Matt. 28)? After all, we are His 'hands and feet'.
My point is...if you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and say that you're content-then you need to dig deeper and search Him out with all your heart, soul, and mind. God loves us too much to leave us where we are and how we are. We are meant to be molded and shaped by the potters hands, but we have to make a choice to let Him take the lead. To truly have faith that our problems aren't bigger than Him. I think that when we don't give as we should (or what we can) we show our true colors-just how greedy and selfish we truly are. The love of God is meant to be shared-not hoarded and that extends to what we give God (not just concerning money). I think it's too easy to be boastful and compare ourselves to others, but in God's eyes none of us are good, saintly, or just. Jesus even corrected someone for calling Him 'good'. Even today, I think most of us have this 'following Christ' thing all wrong-just like the Pharisee from Matthew who compared himself to the Tax Collector on the street did.
My challenge to you is to refocus yourself. And this might mean taking sometime off from work and really having a spiritual retreat-just you and God. Search your heart and the scriptures for His Him in prayer and be open to the truth for pride doesn't leave room for anyone else let alone God. 

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