Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor
Generosity seems to be at the center of God’s heart. He’s looking for glimpses of his generosity in the hearts of his children as well, just as we do in ours. Think about how we delight when we see children learn to share all on their own. We know intuitively that parting with our treasure for the benefit of others is right and good, but nevertheless one of life’s greatest challenges. Selfless generosity is a level of maturity, completeness, wholeness and growth that not even the discipline of moral rule keeping can help us achieve. We see this shockingly true in the life of the rich man who came to Jesus one day…
He was a devout follower of God, familiar with the Jewish moral code, which he claimed he had kept since his youth. (Matthew 19:16-30; Mark 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30) And yet Jesus told him he was still lacking, not yet “complete” (a better translation than “perfect”). According to Jesus, this man’s only option for achieving completeness or wholeness was to give up his earthly treasure and give it to the poor—selfless, purposeful generosity. Rather than do the very thing which Jesus indicated would allow God to complete his work in him, the rich man went away sad, because he could not part with his wealth.
Think about the great opportunity, perhaps a once in a life time opportunity, this guy was turning down… the chance to give God open access to his heart—unrestricted entrance into the deepest part of his soul—to do his finishing work in him. Rather than become complete by practicing and learning to be generous, he clung tightly to his money and turned his back on a genuine partnership with God, participating in mercy, kindness, and the restoration of the lives of the poor.
What might you be trading, missing out on in this life and in the age to come, by refusing to let go of your monetary treasure so that it can be used for God’s purposes to refresh and restore your world and the lives of the less fortunate?
“The generous will themselves be blessed,
for they share their food with the poor.”