THE AMEN CORNER with DEACON RIGHT?
REASONS to GIVE
May 13, 2018
Today, we continue in Unit III, GIVE PRAISE to GOD. The lesson for today was entitled, REASONS to GIVE. The SCRIPTURE for today’s lesson was Leviticus 23:9-14, 22. The KEY VERSE was from verse 10 and reads, “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you enter the land I am going to give you and you reap its harvest, bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest.” (NIV)
WHAT REASONS DO WE HAVE TO GIVE WILLINGLY AND GENEROUSLY TO GOD?
Here’s one; “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
And then, His Son—in turn—gave his life willingly and generously for us.
We know that he did so willingly because, in John 10:18, he tells us so when he says, “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father” (NIV). He CHOSE WILLINGLY to lay down his life for us.
He then urges us to be as generous to our fellow man, as he was to us, by stating, “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:12,13, NIV).
The 19th century songwriter, Frederick Whitfield, left us these lyrics to remind us why we should give generously and willingly to the Lord, “Oh how I love Jesus, oh how I love Jesus, oh how I love Jesus, because he first loved me.” He did it first.
My SUBTOPIC today is: ‘CAUSE YOU ARE ON THE WELFARE!
In his stand-up comedy movie, Delirious, Eddie Murphy did a skit about kids and the ice cream truck. In the skit, he portrayed a child who’d been fortunate enough to be able to purchase an ice cream cone off of the Ice Cream Truck.
One of his friends was not so fortunate though, so the fortunate one made fun of the unfortunate one by chanting tauntingly, “I have an ice cream! I have an ice cream! I have an ice cream and I’m gonna eat it all”.
Then he turned to the unfortunate child and sang mischievously, “You didn’t get none! You didn’t get none! You didn’t get none, ‘cause you are on the welfare. You can’t afford it. You can’t afford it!” quite a funny routine.
However, wouldn’t the more Christian action have been for the fortunate child to have shared his ice cream with the unfortunate one?
When it comes to helping those in need, our society sometimes demonstrates the pinnacle of hypocrisy.
Daily, we hear people decrying those who are less fortunate and may be dependent upon the social welfare system. They’re—too often—described using derogatory terms like; lazy, no-good, and trifling, etc.—Never the term, unfortunate though.
AND THEN, these same accusers claim to be Christians?
In verse 22 of today’s Scripture, God tells Moses to say to the Israelites, “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’”
Isn’t this essentially, A WELFARE SYSTEM; a “safety net” for those who have fallen through the cracks; a social system that provides for those needing assistance by asking those with abundance to share their abundance with those who lack?
I didn’t write it or create it. It’s right there in black-and-white.
One of my favorite songs says,
“You can’t beat God’s giving, no matter how you try.
And just as sure as you are living
and the Lord is in heaven on high.
The more you give, the more He gives to you,
but keep on giving because it’s really true
that you can’t beat Gods giving, no matter how you try.”
We give God leftover time,
Stray minutes here and there.
Leftover cash we give to Him,
Such few coins as we can spare.
We give our youthful days to the world,
to hatred, lust, and strife;
then in declining years we give
to him the remnant of our life.
And to those who stand in need,
We give nothing at all,
Talking about planting a seed
And not heeding a brother’s call