Pastor Dr. John K. Mathew
An open heart cannot maintain a closed hand.
If we appreciate the grace of God extended to us, we will want to express that grace by sharing with others.
True ministry means giving, not getting. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. Although these words are not recorded in the scriptures, they were part of the oral traditions and Paul memorized them!
Dr. Earl V. Pierce called this, the supreme beatitude because unlike the other beatitudes, it tells us how to be more blessed.
Giving is an inevitable part of the Christian faith and culture. Those cultures that were stemmed and flourished from the Judeo Christian background always promoted giving.
From its inception, the Bill, and Melinda Foundation has given away more than $ 40 billion. Everything started with a letter Mary, Bill’s mother sent to Melinda, quoting a Bible portion “From those to whom much is given, much is expected” (Luke 12:48).
But when it comes to giving everyone looks upon the rich suggesting it is only their responsibility. Please remember that generosity is not a virtue reserved for the rich. Apostle Paul says that, “each one of you should set aside a sum of in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come to you no collections will have to be made”(1 Cor.16:2).
Dr. David Jeremiah, in his book, A Life Beyond Amazing, presents a beautiful story of a very ordinary person who became an exemplary model of giving and generosity.
Albert Lexie started working at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, cleaning, and polishing shoes for$ 5 for a pair. Satisfied customers often tipped him, usually a dollar or two. One Christmas, a customer gave Albert $ 50 for shining one pair of shoes. Big tips like that were rare, of course, and over the years, as styles changed, Albert saw his business dwindle. In 2013, Albert retired after thirty-two years on the job. There was a farewell party. Hospital staff and administrators spoke of how much he’d be missed. But when he walked out the door on his last day, his influence at that hospital continued. Why, because during all those years of shining shoes, Albert Lexie donated more than 30 percent of his earnings to the hospital’s Free Care Fund, which helps cash-strapped parents pay for their children’s medical care.And those tips? He gave every single one to the hospital, more than $ 200,000 in all. Having said the story, Dr. Jeremiah suggests, “generosity is not about what’s in your bank account- it’s about what’s in your heart”. It can be concluded with the words of Winston Churchill, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give’.
It is more blessed to give than to receive!