Every Good Work

www.bible.com/1713/2co.9.8.csb

Ever feel like you can’t get enough? While there is such things as too much food, or too much sleep, even too much air, there are some things you can’t get enough of. For example: too much money. How much is that?

I was reading an entry on Quora the other day about drug dealers and money laundering. Apparently, there is a way to get too much money. Drug dealers have to work primarily in cash, they have difficulty spending it, of making it into money they can use without suspicion. There is a monetary limit on deposits above which money is reported to the federal government. If you have too many of these deposits too frequently, the government comes in to investigate. Thus, many of these drug dealer types have to resort to money laundering, i.e., funneling money through legitimate business hoping that bo one will notice a few extra hundred dollars in the deposits. For them, there is such a thing as too much money. Apparently, money that comes from “nowhere” is a problem.

What is something you wish you had more of? Time? Money? Health? Joy? What about grace? Grace brings eternal life, both time and health. Grace brings joy, fulfilling joy. Grace also brings money, for wealth is reserved for you beyond your imagination as the child of the King. It may not be the wealth you want, but what you need. All the things that we wish we had more of, God supplies in abundance through His grace. But here’s the catch, and you knew it was coming. That grace is in accordance with His good work. He will supply you with abundance all that you need to fulfill His work in your world. God will grant you grace in abundance. But He grants this grace to equip you to do His work. He is looking for ROI, that is, a return on investment. When God invests His grace in you, He is expecting a return on that investment, like the three tenants who received talents.

So the lesson for today is to observe yourself to see how you are investing God’s grace. Are you hoarding it for yourself, or are you investing in others, passing on what you have received? We have this unique and awesome privilege of sharing what we have received, the grace of the gospel, to others. Let’s go do that today!

Heavenly Father, today is another great opportunity. Show me today where I can share Your grace, freely given, to others who need it. Help me to help others. Let the good investment of Your grace not be wasted on me today. May I in all things be the conduit and the endpoint of your love, mercy, and power. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Work for the Good of All

www.bible.com/1713/gal.6.10.csb

What are you willing to do in the name of Christian charity? Would you feed the hungry? Would you serve at a soup kitchen? How about volunteer to help with disaster cleanup? Or maybe drop money into those red buckets around Christmastime?

What I find interesting about this verse is the word “all.” This good work is not limited to those I like or those I worship with. It is for all people that we have an opportunity to serve. But something else you may note: it is not working for what each person thinks is good for them, but working for “the good” of all people. What is the very best good for all people? For them to know the person and grace of Jesus Christ.

What’s funny about Christian charities is that people will always approach you with what they think will do them the most good, like paying a utility bill, rent, or money for gas to get to the next church. Is it “good” for a church or charity to subsidize or even fully support someone who cannot manage their money? I am not talking about the unable to work, but the unwilling to work.

If you’ve been on the receiving end of charity as I have, you know it isn’t a place you want to be. You are there out of necessity. And you certainly aren’t in any place to tell the giver what you expect. And yet I often hear the sad story followed by a list of demands. What have we done as givers that the receivers set the terms?

As Christians we are instructed to work for the good of all. All people should be able to expect good work from Christians, not just those in their fellowship, but no one should expect to define for Christians what good is. And no one ought to instruct Christians what “social justice” is, since it is God who invented Justice.

This holiday season as occasions arise, do good. Do what will help someone know the love of God in Christ. Do what Jesus would do in extending His love, but also his good into the lives of others. As a Christian you don’t have to accept what others think is good. Only God defined what is good. You have an obligation to share that good with others. It doesn’t always giving as the world thinks it is. Sometimes it’s not giving when you know it enables a bad behavior. Sometimes you have to give blind. It happens. But let God be the judge of that person and not you for withholding a kindness. I know. It’s confusing.

Take and study this passage. Take the time to understand it. But also practice it. A good word in your heart alone is useless.

God bless!

Giving Tuesday

www.bible.com/1713/mat.6.3.csb

So let the Non-profits get on the bandwagon by making the next day on the holiday calendar their own day. We’ve had Black Friday and Cyber Monday. I hear a distant chorus of “me too”‘s with Giving Tuesday. Hey you’re already in the spending mood. Why not send some money our way too and feel good about it. I’m surprised this same attitude hasn’t taken April 16th, the day after taxes are due, or the day after Mother’s Day.

Oh I suppose there will be statistics that will say Giving Tuesday will have another great year this year. People, used to spending money on themselves and their loved ones will be charitable and feel like giving to strangers too. It’s the holiday spirit after all. Everyone feels good by giving, right?

Recently my son was caught in a giving scam. He was “hired” by someone to buy gift cards for a foster family with a check of over $2000. Sounds good, right? The giver of the check insisted that those cards be bought and the numbers on the cards be given to this needy foster family as soon as possible. The check was from four states away. What could go wrong? Actually the check did. We found out it was a bad check after the dust settled. Now my son is out $2000. It comes down to certain bank rules that allow you to float a check for a certain number of days and invent money while the check is being processed. It’s a scam and a devious one, because most importantly it played on the idea of being generous to a needy family. My son wants to do good, and this was such an opportunity. Now he has another $2000 to pay back.

Let me earn you that not all causes are good. Some are out there simply to take your money. If you are not careful, many are set up today to take your good name as well. If you are not certain what makes a good donation, may I recommend your local church? Some even allow you to give online. Just be careful who you give to.

God bless you today.