Somewhere along the way I discovered the following that I’d like to share with you this week. In The Day They Shook the Plum Tree Arthur H. Lewis tells the strange, but true story of Hetty Green. She died in 1916, the richest and most detested female in America. She had $100 million dollars in the bank, but ate crackers and cold oatmeal because she was too cheap to buy good food. Her own son’s leg had to be amputated because she was didn’t want to spend the money to see a doctor. They’re all dead now — Hetty and her two children. Her millions were distributed where they were least needed and where they accomplished a minimum of good. Her story forces us to ask a few questions:
Is my giving self-centered or Christ-centered? Many Christians (when it comes to their attitude toward money) are more like Hetty Green than like Christ. Theyre self-centered instead of Christ-centered; stingy instead of generous. Giving requires surrender. No place in our hearts or lives can be off limits to Christ’s control. Letting Jesus change us and transform us to be like Him requires a kind of surrender that often feels like death. As a result it seems easier to become a Christian than it does to be transformed into the likeness of Christ. And nowhere is this more true than in the area of becoming a giving person.
It takes the grace of God to develop giving people. 2 Corinthians 8 tells us how. There, Paul explains that the only way people could be changed into selfless, sacrificing, giving people was the work of God’s grace in their lives. They gave themselves first to the Lord, then to us in keeping with God’s will. (I Corinthians 8:5). Christian giving is motivated by grace. Notice that I said God’s grace, not our guilt. This is the number one problem in sermons, studies and programs on giving. If a framework of grace is not seen, known or felt, average believers give their money to relieve their guilt and to get God to like them. It’s never about guilt but always about grace.
I’ve sat under the ministry of Tim Green this week. He said, “God invites the other to participate with him in what He is doing. He creates light then uses the light to penetrate the darkness. God invests his agenda of life to us. He doesn’t do it by himself. He has partnered with us and together God’s agenda is carried out.” Giving is one expression of that partnership. God is not a mircro-manager. He allows we who have been redeemed by His grace to join with him to accomplish His mission in the world. Giving
Are you a bucket or a funnel? We need God’s Spirit to transform us from being a “bucket” (only receiving God’s blessings) into becoming a “funnel” (giving to others). God can change us into people who will be a channel that flows into the lives of others. God will see to it that opportunities to be a funnel for Him. When I was in Rivas, Nicaragua, where SFD Nazarenes built the first church built out of the Chapel Factory, I has opportunity to meet Miranda, the pastors wife at Second Tola. She was sick and unable to attend church with her husband. He asked us to come pray for her. We entered their modest home with cleanly swept dirt floors. Before I prayed, I asked if Miranda had the medicine she needed. The answer was no. We dug in our pockets and gave her enough cash for medicine for the next three months. She was in the service the next day and God was healing her. Lord, move us from being bucket people and churches to being funnel people and churches.
Dr. David F. Nixon
but it is necessary to be very attentive what to rumple who it and whether there can be this person a swindler. after all and such happens. you don’t need which counterfeit production too much. simply it costs strongly cheaper.