Series: Saving For Life
I Have More So I Can Give
An economist was leaving his office building and saw a little boy sitting on the curb with a dog. The boy yelled at the economist, "Hey, how would you like to buy a dog".
The man was intrigued by this sales approach and asked the boy, "How much do you want for your dog".
The boy told him, "Fifty thousand dollars".
"Fifty thousand dollars!" the man repeated in astonishment. "What special tricks does this dog do that he can earn enough money to be worth fifty thousand dollars"? the man asked the boy?
The boy replied, "Mister, this dog never made a nickel in his life. Matter of fact, count what he eats I guess you could say you lose money on him every year".
The economist felt this was a good time to explain economics to the young man and expounded on how an item had to produce more income than it consumed to equal a puchase price ending with he might get five dollars from someone who just wanted a companion. Feeling he had imparted a very valuable lesson to the young man, the economist went on his way.
A few weeks later, the economist came out of his office building and the small boy was again sitting on the curb minus the dog. The man said to him, "I see you took my advise and sold the dog for five dollars".
The boy said, "No, I got fifty thousand dollars for him".
The business man was completely flabbergasted. "How did you ever get fifty thousand dollars for that dog" he asked.
"It was easy", said the boy. "I traded him for two twenty five thousand dollar cats".
I like that joke because it brings a little tinge of truth about the way people operate – everyone wants to have more than they have now and think they can do so in a short period of time if they will just find the right deal. The truth is that becoming rich overnight is like miracles: They happen but not very often.
We begin a new study this week as we approach our time of the year talking about giving and making commitments to give for 2010. Now I know that giving is a touchy subject for some people , and some people may not realize that Jesus taught about the proper use of money more often than any other subject – so If Jesus spent that much time on it then we should also pay close attention.
This is particularly appropriate today because we face some shaky economic times in our country – and a great number of people are having to rethink how they behave with their finances. We too must make sure our priorities are in line – sometimes we let them drift hoping to correct things at some future date and it just doesn't happen. So I want us to look into a refocused philosophy in handling what we have – consider that we are called by God to “Save for Life” or in other words we should be working to save our money and store it away as a method of preparing to really live.
First things first; every Christian must have a plan to give to the church from the beginning if they ever expect God to bless them with more resources. I think it is appropriate not only to take important passages from the Bible to help make this point but also consider the people who the passages were written to. In the city of Corinth during the time the NT was written was a place filled with massive wealth. It was one of the center points of worldwide trade – a New York city of it’s day where there were people from all parts of the world selling what they had. Such a place would attract business men and women, and would also be a large market for all kinds of services that people would want to provide for those with disposable income. It was a wealthy place and the church in that city would also contain people who were well off as a result. What most people did not have was the opportunity to make money – this was exactly what the people of Corinth had an abundance of. So keep that in mind as we look at the passage of scripture. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”