The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 46

“There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty”. [Prov. 11:24]

Jesus, when talking about ‘giving’ said : “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38, emphasis mine). This Scripture is often taken out of context when used to emphasize the believer’s duty to contribute financially. There is no doubt the true believer will be a financial giver, but not for the selfish reason that God will bless him because of it! Taken in context, however, we find that Jesus was talking about a selfish attitude that has ramifications on our own well being (being peace and joy and contentment in all things, which are signs of true prosperity). This selfish attitude he described as (1) loving only those who love us (2) doing good only to those who do good to us (3) expecting to be repaid for the assistance we give to others. The essence of Jesus’ teaching in this passage (Verse 38) was that we should be generous in giving service to others. There is no doubt that this service should include financial support, but is not exclusive to it (as is often preached by ‘fund raisers’).

How does selfishness affect our well being? The answer is that, if allowed to become an attitude, it invariably results in isolation and lifelessness. Let’s take an example from nature. The Dead Sea is a classic example of ‘selfishness’. Fresh water pours into it every day, but it does not give any thing out. It has an inlet but does not have an outlet. Because there is no through-flow, because it is stagnant, it cannot sustain life! In like manner, the person who takes in what others have to offer, but never gives anything out will become lifeless. But even worse, even the ability to receive from others will gradually be dissipated, because there is always the fear of having to repay the kindness!

What is true of selfishness in the natural realm is true also in the spiritual realm. The author to the letter to the Hebrews scolded his readers because instead of being teachers they were like babies, still drinking spiritual milk (Hebrews. 5:12). Do you also feel lifeless? Instead of just taking in the word, why don’t you try giving it out? I believe there is no better way to learn than by teaching others!

More importantly, you need to study the word not just for personal blessing and profit but for sharing. At the risk of being offensive, let me say that if you are not sharing the word that you have been exposed to, then you are a selfish person! The Dead Sea is dead because it keeps taking in but never gives out. It is not a blessing to anyone! Don’t make the same mistake.

Most of us are still looking for tutors; what we need to do is to find some pupils!

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues