Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Our Gifts Are Neither Created Nor Destroyed, Merely Transferred

One of the basic laws of physics says it's not possible to make energy out of nothing or reduce it to nothing without that energy taking on a different form. It's a similar process with our possessions, as Grandfather Francis observed in this address to his parishioners:

We bring nothing into this world and we take nothing out of it. Everything we have while we are here comes as a gift from GOD. In appreciation, we choose to share a portion of these gifts. The stewardship of our property is an ongoing process. We give regularly and systematically in proportion to the gifts which we are given. As Christians, we know that our lives are sacred trusts. We are stewards of those lives. GOD depends on us to use them to accomplish GOD's proposes.

GOD invests in us (including sacrificing HIS SON for us), and it's our job to take good care of those investments.

JESUS talked about a good steward in a servant who invested wisely for his master and saw that investment grow. Matthew 25:20-21 (NIV): "The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’"

The lazy servant, on the other hand, lost it all in Matthew 25:28-30: "‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’"

If we invest in GOD by investing our time and our money (which belongs to HIM anyway), so shall we reap the dividends. But be warned -- don't let people use GOD to shake you down or make you think you're not holy enough if you're not giving enough. What and how you give is between you and GOD, to be discussed through prayer, and not by somebody pretending to be GOD's investment manager.

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