Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pentecost 22 (Proper 25)

Today's readings: Deuteronomy 15:1-11, 2 Corinthians 9:6-10, and Luke 12:13-21 (sermon text). Step 6: "We Follow Jesus' Example of Giving."

Money...how is one to divide his inheritance? Jesus deflected this challenge by warning of greed, the central issue. Greed has been defined as the desire for anything more than we need. Colossians 3:15 defines greed as idolatry, for its object is the greedy person's god. Not a petty sin. Jesus therefore focuses on it with a parable - the rich man who, though he is rich, brings nothing into and takes nothing out of the world.

What, then, is the heart of giving? It is not the amount, but the reason, the relationship behind it (John 3:16 being the prime example). It's possible to give without love, but impossible to love without giving; since we have been called to follow God, we give. Think of your attitude when you tithe - pray for it to be "love," not "how much?"

There is no doubt of God's love for you. Christ Jesus is love in action; He gave all because He loves. Whose footsteps are you following? Christ's footsteps are sharing, worshiping, serving, steeping in Scripture, being a friend, growing in Him, and giving because we love; love because He first loved us, proving it by giving us all we need and don't deserve. Follow (Matthew 16:24-27) in His footsteps.

What an opportunity! Think: Whose footsteps? It matters. Examine your heart (Psalm 51) - where is it, in which kingdom? Give freely as you have been blessed freely (Luke 12:22ff), not worrying. The LORD will provide because He walks with us.

Soli Deo gloria.

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