Saturday, 2 February 2013

THE GIFTS AND THE GIVER



Lest we get mesmerised by blessings and forget its source, God

We need to be grateful towards God who has blessed us with the good things in life such as a good home, savings and other investments, just as the Jews were reminded in Deuteronomy 8:11-14,18 to continue to remember God in times of plenty:

“Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest—when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”
 
God is not niggardly. He wants to abundantly bless His children in so many different areas – and often materially as well (Psalms 103:1-5).

But wealth is like a two-edged sword. How many people can handle great wealth? Many get mesmerised by the gifts rather than the Giver.

Joseph, who became the Prime Minister of Egypt, could handle great wealth for he did not succumb to greed, pride or sexual immorality. But how many modern-day Josephs are there?

That’s why the Psalmist enjoins us, “If riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10). It’s so easy to be bedazzled by the gleam of riches that we lose our upward focus.

Paul also exhorted the rich “not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God … to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:17-18).

The best panacea against pride and hoarding, the twin dangers of wealth, is to be channel of blessing. We are blessed that we might be a blessing.


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