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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Am I greedy?

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CofG
Member



Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 381
Cambodia

 Re:

Hi Fletcher, there have been occasions like you suggest but they are rare. Usually, the command makes the action necessary clear but sometimes, the Lord has stopped me. Like Paul once said, if we don't work, we don't eat or only the widows who serve should be served. These are examples of when the otherwise clear command is contravened.


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Robert

 2019/10/29 17:45Profile
CofG
Member



Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 381
Cambodia

 Re:

The rich young ruler who treasured his earthly wealth more than he treasured being with Jesus is a perfect picture of what the real issue is about. One man in a parable sold everything he owned with joy to possess the the treasure of the kingdom of heaven. The rich young ruler walked away sad when told he had to sell everything and give to the poor. The crazy thing is that the rich young ruler was a devout Jew. He had already been giving 23 and 1/3% per year to the temple ( which included help for the poor ) . He was faithful in tithing 23 1/3 percent. Yet, he was as far as we can tell kept from the Kingdom because He didn't really love His brethern at the level he should and he didn't thereby love Jesus or His Father.

If we say we love God and yet do not love His children ( especially in their need ), we are liars or so God said.

I get the steward idea but the fundamental issue is clear. We should love in the measure that if we have two tunics and someone has none, then we give away one keeping only one for ourselves. Nothing reserved for future kingdom use or for our own "just in case" needs. Can't escape that stewardship standard.

The most devastating parable to our culture is the parable of the successful farmer who stewarded his agricultural success by saving for his family's future food needs. He didn't squander the profit. He didn't spend indulgently. He just saved for the future food needs of his family. We would call him wise and Jesus called him a fool. A most dangerous word for that man's future.


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Robert

 2019/10/29 18:00Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5339
NC, USA

 Re: Am I greedy?

I certainly accept all the verses cited related to Jesus’ expectations as to giving.

What “set me off” in the OP was this:

//Why is it important though? Because the idolater (covetous) shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.//

That gets people to thinking they might be going to hell if they have two pairs of jeans or more than one fork and spoon. After all, do we really need a whole set of silverware? There are lots of people in the world who have none.

It may seem like I am being outrageous but covetousness was defined in the OP as having two of something when someone else has none. Taken to it logical conclusion, we could only have one of everything and even then only if we don’t notice anyone who may need it more.

I just think that’s an impossible standard and in fact I have heard atheists castigate Christians as hypocrites for not doing what the OP suggests.

The bottom line is that we can never ever be sure if we have ever done enough to be insure we aren’t going to burn.


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Todd

 2019/10/29 20:50Profile
CofG
Member



Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 381
Cambodia

 Re:

Todd, the warning from Paul that was quoted was a warning to the professing church. It was spoken for the exact purpose you find onjectionable which is for every believer to examine themselves and see if there is any way in them or heart attitude in them that is displeasing to the Lord. John the Baptist and John the apostle preached about the standard of mercy and brotherly love. I presume that means it is God’s standard unless you are prepared to say it is exaggeration for effect. If that is your interpretation, please clearly state it.

Please help me understand what the two tunic standard really meant. Saying what it can’t mean is more destructive than instructive.

1 John makes clear that it is those who practice sin that are not born again. Practicing covetousnesd on a habitual basis would obviously be a red flag for someone who wants to be assured they are born again and know God.

Besides that issue, there are brothers and sisters in the faith that have no food for their families living all around where I live. I live amongst them. Telling them about your silver set theory is slightly unhelpful. I’m not trying to make anybody feel guilty nor condemned. Just trying to stir up a hatred for the sinfulness of sin and a love of mercy and good deeds.

Wooings and warnings were the truths Jesus and His apostles used to stir up. You obviously have a dislike for God’s chosen means.

This is so much more than a theological debate. There will always be poor among us. Great. Now how do we live like Christ amongst them. That standard is beautiful, not oppressive.



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Robert

 2019/10/29 21:23Profile
Elibeth
Member



Joined: 2011/8/14
Posts: 1015


 Re: Am I greedy?

Bro Robert,
I know what you are saying , because I have been there,... The Lord deals w/ us,.. opens our fists,.. our hearts to share,..

There was a time in my life,.. that I didn’t have very much at all of
‘this worlds goods’, but if I even thought that someone just wanted something that I had, I gave it to them. Was there a little tug in my heart for me ? Yes,.. but I bypassed that.
Then there were times that The Lord showed me to share and who.

But it is easy for covetousness to overtake us again,.. and not allow The King to rule in our life.
We have been called into a kingdom, where The Holy Spirit is the instructor.
* But will we say, “I will not have this man to reign over me?”

Has every man been called to do exactly like this rich man that said he had kept all the commandments? Or was that an example of such ?
I believe it was an example for us to hear from God, through The Spirit and to obey.

When ‘this man reigns over us, through The Spirit of God, in this kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven, that He has called us into,..it may be what this man is called to do,...
It may be many things The Lord, ..The King, calls us out of, or into,..
We are called to be ‘led by The Spirit of God.

I believe that is what Jesus was showing / teaching us, .So.as He speaks to us , about whatever,..DO.
Seeing the consequences of this man, it is dire, that we have a tender heart toward God, and a sensitive ear to hear,.. and to do, whatever He May put His finger on in our life.
—————
**So what is ‘covetousness?

Is it ‘over desirousness’ ?....
heart is just full of ‘stuff’ instead of God,...
Eyes and brain, and heart, just got to have,...

But what can and does happen,many times, if this is the case?

We can cheat to have,.. be dishonest,.. commit extortion, (the twisting of someone to get what we want),.. fists clamped tight in helping others that we look to see and are in need,.. except we might do occasionally from a feeling of necessity
..a heart that is hardened to the voice of God.

What is the Word ?
Awaken and renew,.. cry out to God for help.

We know , that we will carry nothing away with us ,except our relationship w/God.

And if we will seek ‘the kingdom of God’, AND His righteousness, (seek Jesus, The King), He is faithful, He will provide our every need.
(Listening ear,.. ‘What would thou have for me to DO, Lord’ )
Did our brother, Paul do this daily ? I believe he did.
...not only daily, but in everything.
—————-
elizabeth

 2019/10/29 23:21Profile
CofG
Member



Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 381
Cambodia

 Re:

The Macedonian church literally begged Paul for the "privilege" to participate in the feeding of the starving saints in Jerusalem in spite of their severe affliction and extreme poverty. How did this wealth of generosity occur? Paul says that first they gave themselves to the Lord. Then Paul spoke to the Corinthian church and told them to show that their love was "sincere" and that they should help as they are able. Ability is based on what we have. Not what we don't have. But clearly, it is based on all that we have available and not just what is comfortable to our sensibilities or fear of the future.

Generosity and love are the opposites of covetousness and self concern.

Turning this into a "how much is enough" conversation misses the point entirely. The question is what does the love of Christ do through us as we give ourselves fully to the Lord so that He can be Christ fully?

"How much is enough" is such a legalistic conversation and is not befitting of Christ's family. We turn a privilege into a "have to".

Jesus said what we do for His brethern, we do for Him. IF we don't do for them in their need we don't do to Him. It is quite literally a question of do we love Jesus. Remarkably, and perhaps a consternation for some, He said it is a sheep or goat issue. That is Jesus speaking.


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Robert

 2019/10/30 2:31Profile
SteveHale
Member



Joined: 2007/2/15
Posts: 190
NSW Australia

 Re:

Robert (CofG), you speak the truth!! God bless you brother!


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Steve

 2019/10/30 2:38Profile
TMK
Member



Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5339
NC, USA

 Re:

//"How much is enough" is such a legalistic conversation and is not befitting of Christ's family. We turn a privilege into a "have to".//

But in the OP you opined as to what was enough, and then warned people they may go to hell if they don’t do what you said because they are coveters, ie idolaters.

I agree this is a heart issue and our responsibility is to be obedient to our Master in his instructions. Because this is a relationship issue it will look different for every believer, as Elizabeth stated. He will decide who the idolaters are and no one else, thank goodness.


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Todd

 2019/10/30 8:09Profile
CofG
Member



Joined: 2017/2/12
Posts: 381
Cambodia

 Re:

Todd. To be like Christ is to be like Christ. I desire and want that more than anything. What that looks like for you, or Elisbeth or me is the same. I’m sure your Christ likeness as a life to be imitated looks the same as mine.


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Robert

 2019/10/30 8:21Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1230
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Brother Robert

It seems like you are a sincere and earnest brother, and your heart for Jesus is well displayed thru your words:)
(for me) The issue is quite simple and no different than any other. When the Lord became my master, all that was mine became His including and especially finances. I say especially because Jesus spoke about money allot and as you seem to be saying (unless I’ve misunderstood) that it is a heart issue and if we’re not giving sacrificially we would do well in asking the Lord to show us our heart. To be clear, money is not the issue, the heart is and the money only follows the heart. If our heart is for Jesus, then He will be the Lord of our monies, directing them according to His will.

It seems there are different situations in the world today more than ever regarding access to foods. For example, in my local area we have been able to reduce homelessness down to a minimum and between the churches, local food banks (private) and government services not many, if any are going without food or clothing, etc... Now it wasn’t always this way- just 10yrs ago its was quite different, but a group of pastors and believers began to organize their efforts to address these needs. A coalition was formed which acted as a hub, receiving and distributing goods and services to those in need. In just a couple of years the homeless population was reduced to almost nonexistent numbers tho people do daily slip into situations of despair and find themselves in need which is why the coalition was formed and continues. This type of organization allows for people to (as the Lord directs) connect with one another combining their efforts and influence. There are different people contributing in different seasons as the Lord draws them together. There are people like yourself that are organizers and are really able to make a difference in their local communities:))) perhaps there’s a version of this that could benefit your area?

Also the reason I had asked/pressed you on that question was because that has interestingly become a more frequent occurrence in my life, where the Lord literally tells me, No! We’ve even argued about it a few times. With one of the more recent situations resulting in Him telling me, “every time I get them to a place where they will turn to me, you show up with a pocket full of money and fix it. Because you believe it’s my will for you to do this (indiscriminately) you don’t receive my discipline, but now I know you know I’m telling you not to do it and if you do, it will be an act of disobedience and you will answer to me” 😳 another situation that happened was a gentleman whom cleans the windows in our building came and asked for money, as usual I reached in my pocket and the Lord said, “No! “ - I said “but Lord he is my friend” (he is a poor fellow whom I have the habit of giving money to) the said as clear to me as He has ever said anything, “that is MY money and I’m telling you NO! Do not give him any of my money” the situation quickly escalated when I told him the Lord was telling me not to give him any money.... he was upset and began to loudly tell me I had to and began quoting (for the first time ever) scripture (Matthew 5:42,Luke 6:30) and I honestly felt immense pressure to comply with his demands but the Lord said “tell him I said this,... I have a blessing prepared for him and just as I told him before, come out of the darkness into the light where the blessing is, it’s here waiting on you,.... but if I bless you while in the darkness you will not depart from it so come to where the blessing is” so that’s what I told him and he became enraged, started hollering and stuttering and mostly making a scene in an attempt to get some money but soon departed, I suppose looking for another source. We are still friends and he still cleans the windows for me, but he later confessed that he had a drinking problem and was wanting to get a drink that morning (10:00am) and he thanked me for being obedient and telling him no.

So brother Robert, I say all that to say this,... you are a wise and tender hearted brother and may God be praised for what He has accomplished in and thru you:)) I hope you can see that every situation is different and in each case it is an opportunity for our heart to be revealed.... who sits on the throne of our heart and who gets to decide moment by moment, step by step ? perhaps these issues are on your heart because the Lord wants to raise you and some other brethren up in your local area to be a means to His ends... to be vessels that He fills up and pours out to the praise of His name,... to advance His kingdom. It can’t hurt to ask Him if that’s what He wants you to do 😇🙏🏻


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Fletcher

 2019/10/30 8:37Profile





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