OPEN HEARTS AND HANDS
Monday, 1 April 2019
Deuteronomy 15 : 1-15
“You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you” Deut 15:15
God never wanted His people to ever forget who they once were, and who brought them out of Egypt. He reminded His people this fact very often so that they would not act wickedly to their fellow brethren.
As believers in Christ Jesus, we are expected to behave in the same manner. As people redeemed from the bondage of sin, we are called to display God’s mercy and love through our living and giving.
There are three spiritual principles we should follow from this morning’s reading that will show the world that we are a people separated for the Lord.
To release – (Deut 15:2) Here the law requires not to expect back what was lent to a fellow brother: meaning all debts cancelled after every seven years. This is with regards to money. This passage may not apply to modern industrial society, but the principle is still to be upheld. Jesus uses this principle to drive home another important aspect in Matthew 18:21-35. He talks about another release we are called to give our fellow brother in Christ –“forgiveness from the wrongs he/she has done against us.” Explaining the story of the unmerciful servant to the disciples, Jesus tells us that we are required to forgive someone who has wronged us 70 times 7. Not just 7 times but 490 times, meaning innumerable times. Maybe nobody owes you any money. But does someone need a release from your unforgiveness?
Today is that day. So go do likewise.
To open – (Deut 15:7-8) Very often as believers we are tight-fisted. I know the need around us is too much. Yet the Lord expects us to give the ones in need to the best of our ability: for it is more blessed to give than to receive. Deut 15:7 and Deut 15:9 talks about 3 attitudes seen in someone who is a “poor giver”
i) A hardened heart – This is an unregenerated heart that hasn’t received the grace of God.
ii) Shut hand – This is a life that does not acknowledges that all that he/she possesses are not really theirs but God’s.
iii) Wicked thoughts – Flows out of a wicked heart that is desperately sick (Jeremiah 17:9)
But Jesus very clearly lays down the method of giving that each and every believer must follow in Matthew 6:1-4. Our giving must be done
a) to the Lord
b) in secret
c) expecting no accolades from men
One couple who failed this test was Annanias & Sapphira. They wanted to make a “big deal” of their giving. But their wrong attitude cost them their lives. Do we follow this pattern or the Lord’s?
To Supply – (Deut 15:12-15) The last group of people to be blessed are the servants. The modern-day servants are our missionaries who have given up everything to go and serve the Lord wherever He leads them to.
This is where the church steps in. Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:8 says “I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you.” Paul did not take anything for himself but used the money so that the Corinthian church would hear the gospel. Shouldn’t we the church understand this today. How can missions take place if we don’t support supply liberally towards the extension of the Kingdom of God?
So may we pray to ask God to give us open hearts and hands to bless our fellow believers in need.
Quote For The Day:
“You have been treated generously, so live generously.”
Matt 5:8 [The Msg]
Listen- 'The Giving Song'
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