Summary: How about you? Do you know how rich you are in Christ?
Series Title: The Heavenly Reserve Bank of God (Ephesians)
Message Title: Good ‘n Plenty (Ephesians, Chapter 3)
Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-19
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,
15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
In the June 2, 1993, devotional in Daily Walk, by Walk thru the Bible, Inc., it gives the following illustration concerning wealth. There, it says,
“John G. Wendel and his sisters were some of the most miserly [stingy] people of all time. Although they had received a huge inheritance from their parents, they spent very little of it and did all they could to keep their wealth for themselves.
“John Wendel was able to influence five of his six sisters never to marry, and they lived in the same house in New York City for 50 years. When the last sister died in 1931, her estate was valued at more than $100 million. Her only dress was one that she had made herself, and she had worn it for 25 years.
“The Wendels had such a compulsion to hold on to their possessions that they lived like paupers. Even worse, they were like the kind of person Jesus referred to "who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God" (Luke 12:21).”
That’s pretty heavy, isn’t it? It said in the beginning of that illustration that the Wendels’ parents left them a ‘huge’ inheritance. Now, to their credit, there are a few things that we don’t know about the Wendels. We don’t know just how much money was included in that word ‘huge,’ but when the last sister died it equaled $100 million dollars. And, we also don’t know just what kind of upbringing the children received from their parents, or how much their stinginess was influence by their parents.
However, it would be safe to assume that, when parents leave their children a huge inheritance, it’s probably because the parents spent the better part of their entire lives working so as to provide more than just one dress in 25 years!
Now, taking that just one little step further, we can see that people can be separated into two basic categories: we’re either Selfish or Unselfish. It doesn’t matter to what degree of selfishness a person is, or, to what degree of unselfishness another person is, we are still on one side of the number line. Either positive or negative.
The Wendel siblings, however, were so selfish that they didn’t want people to get their money, even by way of them spending it on themselves!
It is rumored that when the one behind this excessive penny-pinching, John Wendel, passed away, his sisters were told they needed to put a notice of his death in the paper. That also serves as a legal notification of a death.
Now, they were also told that the notice would cost just two dollars for five words. The sisters asked if they could put in just two words, instead, such as, “WENDEL DEAD” and only have to pay for those two words. No, the minimum payment, they were told, was two dollars whether it was one, two, or five words.
So, to save the rest of the ‘three words’, since they were paying for them, they put in this statement, “Wendel Dead. Car for Sale.”
Yes, it does seem a bit humorous. And, though it is humorous, it is indeed sad and very tragic that even at a time such as a death in the family, some people are only thinking about how to either make or save just a small amount of money.
Though it is humorous, and we may talk about similar situations or events that have happened around us or even toward us, there are Christians that are exactly like that with their faith. There are probably some Christians that are exactly like that with their gifts. There are even some Christians that may be like that with their talents. And, worst of all, there are Christians that are exactly like that with their love!
Those that have put their faith in Jesus have been given a lot by God, yet the sad thing is, they keep it to themselves. They refuse to spread it around and are stingy with it. Many people refuse to give even one small milligram of love to the people around them.