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Wednesday: Generosity and Greed — 11 Comments

  1. We need to have the sense that all what we have belongs to God. He is the true giver of all our possessions. We just give Him back what we already owe Him. Once we realize that, we get the feeling that we have just received talents to manage! Thanks and glory be all to God, who is able to give more than what we really need! We need to pray to Him for knowledge so we can manage right the talents that He has freely given us, such as time, money, body, family, etc...

    • Our focus on generosity is often about money and possessions but there we should also consider our time and attention as well. Are we willing to spend time with people, giving attention to their emotional and spiritual needs? Money is a poor substitute for time.

      • You have talked about an important factor; Time, which we misuse as God's stewards,,
        I badly needed somebody to open up to for my heart was heavily burdened-, Every person i would turn to seemed occupied,,
        May the lord God help me have time for people who are desperate in anyway

        • KUSMllA Moureen, I apologize for the spelling. I wondered about your comment with regard to time. How we use our time can be troubling. I pray for guidance in my thoughts and actions. We can easily be distracted by allurements of the tempter,s snares. The Holy Spirit promises to guide us. Human agencies may not have answers that we seek, God does.

  2. The different experiences we read about in the passages given illustrate the difference between the converted and unconverted. One of the “works of the flesh” is covetousness, which begets greed and avarice, which those who desire to appear righteous must cover up with lies and deceit. Without true repentance and faith, the old nature will survive the outward show of baptism, and be manifested in one's life. If not put to death, the carnal mind will prevail and be the motivation of every word and action, being deeply rooted in the thoughts and feelings. As Jesus taught, “because of iniquity, the love of many will wax cold.

  3. The early Christian grouping was cemented togather by the love of our Lord Jesus Christ our foundation stone.

    Joshua 9:3-6.

    These people deceived Israel to think that they represented the people of a nation from a distant land.They got together a delegation of men and made them up to appear as though they had been traveling for a long time from a distant country. They used old sacks and filled them with dry mouldy bread. They carried old cracked wineskins and men in the delegation wore old worn out clothes. Finally they made up a little story to deceive the Israelites.

    This is the kind of strategy Satan is using to deceive many.

    Just like the Gibeonites these people pretend to represent churches from poor countries. They carry pictures having embarrassing images from this countries. They know bad News sell well. They use names of certain survivors and inflate the numbers of supposed beneficiaries to get funds.

    When modern Barnabas see these pictures and hear these stories they are moved and they donate billions into very impoverished countries with an objective of helping the poor.

    But this money ends up in the hands of modern Ananias and Saphiras. With two accounts one for themselves and one to show the apostles,these people end up using bulk of the funds to purchase big vehicles, pay huge salaries to themselves, rent big appatments for staff and little for helping the poor.

    • I agree that deception was used to save Gibeonites from annihilation. For that, the punishment was to serve as woodcutters and water-carriers for the house of God (Joshua 9:23). Measure for measure, you used sackcloth and old wineskin to deceive, for that deception you becomes slaves to wood and being carriers for the rest of your lives.

      The greater point of the story is about repentence and salvation. Joshua was able to turn deception and the wickedness of the Gibeonites into righteousness.

      He knew the Gibeonites acknowledged the Almighty power of God (Joshua 9:22) and instead of judgement, he extended saving grace by making them work for the altar of the LORD in verse 26.

      That is what a good Christian should emulate. It is not about identifying the enemy and the action of Satan. It is about turning something that appears bad into something good.

      • Hi Kelvin

        Thanks for your thoughts. I would like to amplify some of what you have said if I may.

        "Joshua was able to turn deception and the wickedness of the Gibeonites into righteousness." What you have stated is actually a succinct description of God's method of 'justice'. This is why justice and righteousness are often mentioned in conjunction with each other when referring to God Himself or to what God 'requires' of those who carry His name (for example, see Eze 18:5-9). From a biblical perspective, righteousness means 'that which ought to be' and justice means the process of returning things to 'that which ought to be'. How ought things to be? The way they were in Eden prior to the fall - and the way they are throughout the entirety of the Kingdom of God: abundant living (Jn 10:10) based on and arising from the principle of self-renouncing love/giving (1 Cor 13:13; Col 3:14; 1 Jn 4:8; DA 20,21).

        "...instead of judgement, he extended saving grace ..." God's 'judgement' is very different to human judgement. We see a glimpse of this in 1 Cor 4:5 if our eyes are open. God's 'judgement' is actually revelation of what is, as opposed to determination that we experience in the earthly judicial system as sentencing and execution of punishment. God's justice is restorative-based, human justice is retributive-based. So Joshua did actually undertake judgement - He just didn't do it according to the way this world does but instead did it the way God does.

        No wonder God had to remind us that His ways are unlike our ways, that they are "higher" (Isa 55:9). The way God experiences and expresses concepts such as 'justice' and 'judgement' are conceptually radically different to the way we do in this world. Matt 5 reinforces this very, very important point.

        Thanks again for what you have shared.

        • Yes, fully agree with your exposition.

          I like the part you said about restorative based justice. You have described it better than I could express myself. That's the role we should emulate, we should restore each other to righteous ways.

  5. Today’s lesson does very well to hilight the concept of “outgrowth”.

    An outgrowth is something that, by nature, cannot be directly achieved. Rather, it naturally arises when the necessary pre-requisites are in place. John 15:5, as an example, describes this concept in action.

    Genuine unity, the unity that Jesus prayed for in John 17, is also an outgrowth phenomenon. Consequently, I would propose that you can’t obtain genuine unity by having unity as a goal. But if you ‘pursue’ the necessary prerequisites that Jesus also referred to in John 17, genuine deep unity will emerge naturally.

    As far as I can see, it appears that the ecumenical movement, especially from the Pope’s perspective, is calling for unity as the direct goal. And because it is being pursued as the direct goal, other things are sacrificed in the pursuit of that goal. Hence the problematic nature of the unity that the ecumenical movement is espousing.


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