There’s a link between being children of God and what we do with our stuff.
When Zaccheus, in Luke 19, stood up and said to Jesus,
“Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold”, Jesus did not say, “good idea”, Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.”
In doing that, Jesus established in our minds a profound connection between what we do with our stuff and the reality of our salvation. Prior to that, John said the same thing regarding repentance. How do I show forth the fruits of repentance? Share you food and clothes – if you have two of anything give one away; don’t steal; don’t extort money – be content.
Why is this important?
In Luke 6:35 Jesus said,
“…love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High…”
Implication: How we handle the things that God has given us is the material evidence of our sonship and a determining factor in our eternal rewards.
As sons, what we do, even with our food, brings either disgrace or glory to the Kingdom. We may not need a constant reminder to give; the seeds of generosity are there in the new nature. What we do need is to be reminded that we are sons.
Jesus is teaching the disciples that a primary characteristic of sonship is loving others the way God loves others – that is, in the way He uses His things. We love because, while we were still enemies, He loved us. We give because we prize mercy, we love the mercy He has shown to us. We give because we treasure the reward and we give to declare our allegiance to Jesus Christ. Since Jesus commands it, giving affirms His Lordship in our lives The act of giving is a vivid reminder that our life is all about Jesus Christ, not us. Giving says, “I am not the point, God is the point. He does not exist for me, I exist for Him.
Our giving is the God appointed means of expressing our joyful surrender to a greater person with a greater agenda – Giving is the way God invites us to joyfully surrender to Jesus.
Lessons for Little Saints…
What is one way that we can we show the love of God to others?
Who are the disciples enemies?
How will people know that we are children of God?
How should we act when we don’t have all the things that we want?