by Pastor Tim Burt
Jesus often taught and demonstrated mercy and compassion when showing us the heart of God. He taught us how to help someone in crisis and need when possible. We see that in the story of the good Samaritan in Luke chapter 10. God’s word teaches us not to focus on what we can’t do, but what we can and are able to do to help be a blessing to others. Living a life of what we can do for others is a blessed way to live. The entire Bible talks about stewardship, tithing, and giving hundreds of times. But, the Bible does not legislate an obligation for you or anyone to take care of another on an ongoing basis when they have the ability to work and provide for themself. The Apostle Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NLT2) “Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.” The Bible teaches that everyone is to work and do their part and not be lazy. No government is meant to subvert that.
The church and government are to help the helpless—those that cannot work or help themselves for whatever reason. But, that is to be the extent of it. Mercy helps people in trouble but that is not supposed to be a permanent condition. Nor even a long-term condition. In the story of Joseph ruling under Pharaoh, there were seven years of hard times. Governmentally, Joseph didn’t hand out free food to the masses affected and starving from famine, instead, he negotiated to help people survive until the famine was over. Go and read it for yourself. People are often tempted to suggest giving away others’ money. Especially when it’s in the hands of the government or people with excess resources. But that is not God’s way. They would not be so quick to suggest or agree to that if they had to give from their own resources. And it was not Jesus’ way either. In chapter 25 of Matthew, in Jesus’ story of the talents, seed money was given to different people to invest. Jesus instructed to take the one talent from the lazy non-producer and give it to the man with ten talents who was producing. Matthew 25:28 (NLT2) “Then he ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver.”
God’s word does exhort every one to do their part to the best of their ability as we see in Luke 12:48 (NLT2). “…When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” This requirement is not a legal obligation or law, but a moral and ethical one.
Why am I telling you all this? Because there is a movement in our nation toward socialism which is not biblical. Historically, it is not a form of government that has ever succeeded except in oppressing and controlling people. It is a fact that Socialism and or Communism have been tried over 100 times and have left hundreds of millions of civilians dead or left with their lives ruined. It has destroyed generations of people and destroyed human freedom and prosperity and the advancement of the progress witnessed in the United States and many democratic societies around the world.
From the time of Renee and my poorest days, when we were both laid off because of a strike, we did not look to welfare but found places to work. Back then we had little to give because we ourselves were poor. But we always tithed to God and helped those in our lives that God led us to help. We did so trusting that God would take care of us. We didn’t focus on what we couldn’t do. We focused on what we could do! Most always you can do something. Proverbs 11:24 (NIV) says, “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” Today our resources our greater and because of that, we are able to do more than we ever have before.
In the days and years to come, when anyone—government or other, promises to give you more and more for free and at the expense of others who have more, it’s a trap and anti-biblical. And I’ll close with a short story to make the point. In closing, make sound biblical decisions in your life and work hard. Be a good steward and tithe to God. Do what you can to bless others. Do this from your heart, not from anyone taking it from you in the name of doing good! Do so and you will be rewarded by God for your heart and actions!
The $50 Lesson
Recently, while I was working in the flower beds in the front yard, my neighbors stopped to chat as they returned home from walking their dog. During our friendly conversation, I asked their little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President someday.
Both of her parents, liberals, were standing there, so I asked her, “If you were President what would be the first thing you would do?” She replied… “I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.”
Her parents beamed with pride!
“Wow…what a worthy goal!” I said. “But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that!” I told her.
“What do you mean?” she replied.
So I told her, “You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and trim my hedge, and I’ll pay you $50. Then you can go over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out and give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.”
She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, “Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50?”
I said, “Brilliant my dear, you now understand conservative values.”
Her parents aren’t speaking to me anymore.
Matthew 25:29 (NLT) To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
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In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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