The ten men shared a common problem. Perhaps due to this shared penalty, they had become friends of sorts. Besides, a group was less likely to invite rock attacks from the proper society that they encountered as they scavenged for food and supplies.
Outcasts, they depended on each other for the necessities of life – and a sort of friendship.
It wasn’t by chance that they heard of a solution to their problem. A solution that centered on one Man.
The rumor was that He could cure their physical defects.
Healing would enable them to become part of society again.
Friends. Families. Acceptance. Life again.
Plans were devised that would bring them into the proximity of the Healer.
With some study and careful planning, they managed, one day, to see the crowd that told them they had found Him.
Excitement built to the bursting point. Rules of contact were neglected as they rushed toward the Prize.
Habit was not strong enough to force the required warning from their mouths. Instead of “Unclean!” the cry from their hearts was, “Have mercy upon us!”
Jesus stopped and looked at the men, as the crowd shrank back in terror.
Luke 11 records that Jesus didn’t ask what they wanted. He knew. They wanted generosity from the only One that offered hope of a cure.
With a smile He said, “Go show yourselves to the priest.”
Jesus knew at that moment what kind of response He would get from the ten. Only one of the ten met the standard for being healed.
But Jesus healed all ten, though undeserving and unthankful were nine of them.
Sometimes being in the right place at the right time results in a gift, a blessing, that can only be described by the words “pressed down and running over.” Filled to overflowing.
God’s Nature is Generous.
His desire for us is expressed in the words of John (3 John 1:2) “Beloved, I desire that in all things thou shouldest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.”
Jesus offered the complete package of healing and forgiveness. Followed by Discipleship. “Freely you
have received, freely give.” Only one man received all that was offered.
Sometimes the need is remote from the Christian.
Benevolent giving of a portion of my/your income to the church missions is the only way to be included in the benefits of generosity.
The church has resources to meet demands that are unreachable by the individual giver.
Systematic giving of tithes and offerings enable the church body to fulfill its Mission by sending pastors, teachers, medical staff, food and clothing to a world in need.
And just as important is the local community. For the church to be present as an agent of sharing Jesus, funds and resources have to be given on a weekly and monthly schedule, so the church doors and services can be open: Utilities, insurance, salaries, supplies…
A cold, dark church has little sharing ability – little to attract those who need the help – those who need Jesus.
Tithe – 10% is claimed by God as His.
We can chose to keep it for ourselves. But that is stealing from Him.
Offerings – to be added onto the Tithe in regular, systematic contributions. “As I have been blessed.”
In response to God’s blessings to me.
Try it. Don’t be miserly. Tithe faithfully. Offering generously.
Maybe begin offerings of 1-2% if you are new to this.
See how God responds, how your money lasts through the month.
Then increase to 5% offering to the local church budget as your faith builds.
Malachi 3:10 encourages us to “Try Me” God says.
Tell God that you are trying Him.
God can be trusted to be generous, not just in forgiveness, but also in money needs.
I don’t mean to imply that you will become a wealthy person due to your response to God’s demands on our income.
But, He will be sure that we will have sufficient to meet our needs.
Generosity – Give and it shall be given unto you… pressed down and running over.
We are to become like God, Who is Generous beyond expectation.
We cannot out-give God.
Comments are welcome,
Tell me your story of God’s Generosity to you.