By Not Known
It is easy to give away things that we do not need or value. Gifts we received from past Christmases, birthday celebrations, weddings, house-warmings, or maternity hand-me-downs are passed on from person to person, and family to family. Many of these ended up in messy storerooms where unwanted items continue to stream in over the years. Eventually, they are passed on from parents to children and even to grandchildren. Just imagine the volume and extent of meaningless circulation and you can understand why so much of this junk was simply dumped after the last season of tsunami relief collections. Is that authentic generosity, or just any ugly mentality of conveniently getting rid of things that do not matter to us?
The opposite may often be true of material treasures. Items of monumental value are safely locked away in seclusion for private eyes only. Handing over to the next generation is a matter best kept in hush till the end, and may never happen. Contrastingly, what do you own of immeasurable value of of great need that you wouldn’t and couldn’t wait to give away daily without reservation?
The Apostle Paul tells of THE thing of eternal value that he received and readily passed on to others – the gospel (1 Cor 15:3). What is the message of this gospel that saves? Christ died for our sins, and Christ was raised according to the Scriptures (vs 3 & 4). When was the last time you have passed on this simple, yet significant message to others as of first importance?
For many of us it is not an ignorance of this gospel or its fundamental implications. Rather, the modern and materialistic culture in which we live daily interacts, has subtly corroded our sense of the real need for the gospel with numberless fetishes and felt needs. Biblical truths that one gripped our consciences when we first believed quickly eroded away. We can live with depravity, but not scarcity. Have we somehow become like the Israel of old that the Prophet Ezekiel described as a valley of dry bones (Ezk 37). No wonder the world has so many tattered rags to cast out at broken lives elsewhere, rather than the Gospel of Life!
How can we start giving away this valuable gift to others and to our children and to their children? This work must begin with a personal renewal of the heart. The Sovereign LORD says: I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws (Ezk. 36: 26- 27) And when we walk in the ways of the LORD all the days of our lives, the next generation will know God and also put their trust in him (Ps 78: 6, 7). They will in turn pass on the faith to others.
What are you passing on today – fetish or faith?