Blessed to be a Blessing: Christian Philanthropist
That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Our church had a member who is mega rich. Her kids go to exclusive schools. She is an active member and an ardent church work supporter. They have fine homes, not just home but homes. They live in exclusive subdivisions and have condominium properties in Manila. They are involved in intermediaries businesses.
It was a rare sight to behold to have a spiritual church member like that. Oftentimes, people of this sort in our world are worldly than ever. You will see them greedy in business although already rich. They buy luxury cars to flaunt their wealth. They have wicked living and they seem to fit in with what King David had described in Psalms 73. They curse God; they have more than their heart could wish; they put trust in riches to save them; the riches are their towers; they are proud and so on. David described the wicked rich.
Don’t get me wrong. Abraham was rich but godly. Joseph was rich and a governor of Egypt but godly as well. Job was extremely rich as well. In fact, one of the tests he endured is whether riches governed his heart. He even said in pain, “the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh, blessed is the name of the Lord”. He passed the test that he can be good steward of wealth. Later, God blessed him more with what he had. These were doubled if not tripled. There is no generalizing here but rarely can we find rich godly believers in Christ live this kind of exalted living. There are rich also in appearance only but in reality living in debts. They live in illusion trying to impress others or people they do not like. They are suffering from within and only they and God knows what they are doing. With iceberg you only see the tip, but what you do not see is the real thing. The tip that you see is only an illusion.
God does bless us also materially for the advancement of His Kingdom. He chooses the people whom he can trust as stewards. He does not easily give this away to people He knew ahead that will only drift them away from Him. God is the Maker of rich and poor and they both meet in the grave. No distinction, period. Psalmist said this and the Psalmist also said that any man cannot redeem his brother with wealth. In fact, God said that rich people may have difficulty in inheriting the kingdom of God because they were deluded that riches if far more important than God, or they value riches to save them; they see this as fortress, Psalmist said. Worst of all they are blinded by riches like the rich young ruler who walk away sorrowful when asked by God, you have everything. But when asked by God to sell what he had and follow Him, he went away sorrowful. Jesus did not smother His invitation what He loves which is his wealth. It was on the throne in the heart of a rich young ruler, so Jesus can only come if he can surrender what he cannot afford to lose, for this is a dead weight for him, a stumbling block in following Him. When the rich young ruler walk away sorrowful, it is an evident that where you heart is, there will you life be also. His life must have revolved around riches that he missed the meaningful living with God. He got it wrong. I believe that that rich young ruler went to eternity with nothing. We were born with nothing or naked, and it is sure that we can also carry nothing out. Sure enough, that you leave your wealth with others who will benefit from it. They can have earthly benefits, but you are not looking beyond this life and beyond the grave. It is a myopic vision that keeps us away from looking for far more exalted living. Worst of all, we were buried in the dust with the poor and we carry nothing what we work hard for. We were born naked and it is certain that we carry nothing out.
Moreover, we can leave the wealth to our kids or people we left on earth, but are love ones are still living the life like we used to have while we were yet alive. They will die as well in godless eternity, just like us. Jesus said, between the rich man and Lazarus: Rich man, in thy lifetime, you have all you got but now you’re in flames of fire while Lazarus was in trouble even having a breakfast is a problem. He had to eat crumbs from your table, but now he is comforted.
Your problem is, you have myopic vision. You only see the present that you forgot eternity in view. Misery on earth is so short compared to an eternity in the flames of fire without God. This is eternal and there is no way, I can get to you, neither can you get here. For there is a great gulf fixed that crossing to rescue you becomes impossible. Not that I cannot do it, but I opt not to change my mind that this place should be free from sin. You were trading something important with less important in your life. You’d been acquainted with wealth all your life to the point of forgetting God. You got it wrong and missed it badly to the point of no return. You could have the opportunity to help Lazarus, feed him well and perhaps Lazarus can open to you about a life with eternity in view. You missed all those days, even when everyday Lazarus only feed from crumbs that fell on your table. There is nothing wrong with getting rich, what makes it wrong is when you get it hastily and wrongfully; and worst of all if you trade it with more valuable things in life.
Again having is riches is never wrong, getting it the immoral means is and if it makes you blinded from eternity in view is what makes it wrong. We can affect changes in the world in many ways if we have it. Hoarding it is also wrong, when we can “distribute it to the necessity of the saints” or less fortunate. Best of all, we can teach our fellow men how to catch fish, instead of giving them. Meaning teaching them the moral and godly means how to make them. But be it known to all that God can only entrust wealth for those who knew that they are only stewards and are mature enough that even when these are gone, it will never change us nor it is deeply connected with us. He can entrust these to people who will use it for His glory, which is the ultimate purpose of wealth. Jesus said: “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. “I have told you before how that ye ought to support the weak”.
The rich member of that church freely gave 3 vans for mission work and church service transportation. Up to the present the contribution continues even when we have anniversaries. The good thing is, she would not announce it from the pulpit but keep it anonymous. One of the signs of the truly rich: they never broadcast of flaunt what they had. They prefer anonymity.
May people will imitate her. By this, the pain in the world can be reduced and will make it a better place.
In closing, let me sing the song: “Because I Have Been Given Much”. We can also listen to the song “Blessed to be a Blessing”. Find it in the net.
Because I have been given much
I too must give
Because of thy great bounty Lord
Each day I live
I shall divide (my) gifts from thee
With every brother that see
Who has the need of help from me
Because I have been sheltered, fed
By thy good care
I cannot see another’s lack and I not share
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
my roof(‘s) sa(fe) shelter overhead
That he to(o) may be comforted
Because love has been lavished so
Upon me Lord
I know that it was never meant
For me to hoard
I’ll give the love to those in need
In every action plant the seed
And will my thanks be thanks, indeed.
Because I have been blessed by
thy great love dear Lord
I’ll share thy love again
According to thy word
I shall give love to those in need
I’ll show that love by word and deed
Thus shall my thanks be thanks in deed
Our Savior’s love
Shines like the sun
with perfect light
As from above
It breaks through clouds of strife
Lighting our way
It leads us back in to His sight
Where we may stay
To share eternal life
Our Father, God
Of all creation hear us pray
In reverence of
by thy son’s sacrifice
Praises we sing
We love thy lot,
We will obey
Our heavenly King
In thee our hearts rejoice