~by Louis Templeman
April 27, 2016: A Good Show
Luke 21:4—She from her want has given what she could not afford.
A man left church one Sunday complaining bitterly about the lousy sermon, the terrible music and the stony faced worshippers. His little son was confused and corrected his father saying, “Gosh, Dad, I thought it was a good show for a quarter!”
When we are miserly with God it is we who are the losers, not God. God is a lover and a giver, a giver who gave His all, in fact, His only Son. What did God get for His great gift? The church. The redeemed. The saints. Us. A cynic might say He didn’t get a very good return on His investment. However, God’s economy is an economy of love. Outside of the fellowship of the Trinity there was one thing He hungered for that He could not provide. Someone to freely love Him. For whom He is, even more than for what He can provide. He is Father. From eternity He is Father and we are the family He longs for.
I’ve heard there are two kinds of giving: offerings and alms giving. Offerings include the tithe and the things that are expected of you. Alms giving includes the above and beyond of our generosity, such as giving to the poor who cannot possibly repay you. Perhaps we could play with the letters and turn alms giving into all-giving. Jesus said in Luke 14:33, None of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions.
We can’t give all until we have given up all. The poor widow gave out of her want, more than she could afford. What wants can I relinquish, or at least quit gripping about and relinquish up to God’s will and God’s time? The list could include wealth, financial freedom, a new car, sexual fulfillment, popularity or vacations. Can I give these to Jesus and worship Him with the same fervor that would come if I had them all? This is all-giving. When I can renounce all and find peace and fulfillment in Him alone then Jesus will fill me with the miraculous superabundance of His new life.
When I embrace my nothingness, He can become my all in all.
1 Corinthians 9:6f
The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.
Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.
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