Jacob's parents had taught him from a very young age to be a blessing to others.
They taught him to put God first and to serve others out of the abundance of his
heart and then the joy of the Lord would be multiplied in his life over and beyond
anything he could ever imagine. Now, that he was a young man with a good job. Giving
was not an issue. Jacob actually found great pleasure in worshipping God in this
area. However, he knew in his heart that the Lord wanted him to expand in his giving
and share the love of God by meeting some of the desperate needs around him.
He really didn’t have a problem with giving over and beyond, but with all the needs
that he saw facing many people today. He thought, “I’m only one person and can’t
help everyone.” Even though he saw first hand how his parents gave and did everything
as unto the Lord with a gladness of heart. He was somewhat disillusioned by a documentary
he saw on the local news station about beggars. They had followed several street
beggars only to find them living in nice neighbourhoods. The worse part is he recognized
one guy that had knocked on his car window at a stoplight asking for a handout because
of the lack of work.
How could he be sure that his helping was actually reaching someone deserving and
in dire straits? He certainly didn’t want to support deliberate idleness or perpetuate
misbehaviour, such as the abuse of alcohol or drugs, or even compulsive gambling.
Jacob wanted his giving to have purpose and not encourage those who lie about their
situation to continue defrauding others.
Deep inside, Jacob knew that he was blessed to be a blessing to others and he had
to obey God in this area of his walk. He had seen first hand the joy it was to give
and share the love of God and how it satisfied ones soul like nothing else could
through the life of his parents. Yes, even if it meant being taken advantage of once
in a while. Jacob thought, “What would Jesus do?” The answer was obvious and if he
was to mirror Christ in his own life and to others. Then he would go about doing
Jacob’s quest to become everything God had intended and purposed for his life. Leaves
me with two questions: First; “Do you see the distress of others as an opportunity
to be an expression of God’s love or do see the poor as undeserving and looking for
a handout?” Secondly, “Does there have to be something in it for you or does it come
straight from the heart with no strings attached?”
In conclusion, we certainly want to periodically check our motives for giving. Whether,
it’s through a helping hand, a listening ear or our finances. So, we might remain
humble to the distress call of someone in need. And, we’re doing whatever is necessary
to meet others’ real needs by carrying them out with good intentions, choosing to
allow our generosity to flow from the love of God.
In Matthew 25: 35-36,40 (NLT). Jesus said, “For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was
thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your
home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I
was in prison, and you visited me.’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least
of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
Michael W. Cochran