Stay far from greed

I am very grateful to God for these days, richly blessed by the Lord. When people talk about blessing, they are very often asked:

“How did you experience that it was a blessing?” I think everyone experiences it differently. Three things in which I see God’s blessing are probably important to me here.

The first is to see each other face to face. Looks like it’s nothing special. But it’s very special: “How good and how pleasant it is when the brothers live together.”

When we gather for a conference and such meetings, we very often say, “Well, finally I see brothers I haven’t seen in a long time and I can communicate with them.” The conference passed and I remembered not communicating with them. I always comfort myself with the words of a close friend of mine who lives in Israel: “Richard, I realized once and for all that we will only have the time to communicate in eternity.”

Second, there is something unique when the Holy Spirit inspires people and they come to repent. It is not always clear what affected them, but you will understand that the Holy Spirit leads a person forward from the depths of the hall because he has made a decision in his life and wants to meet the Lord. It is a great blessing, one of the greatest experiences here.

And the third is probably that it is very gratifying to hear God blessing the work of the churches in different places and regions.

I want to take a different direction in my sermon, I am no longer talking about what is happening, not about a huge blessing, but a little something that is inconspicuous.

We read the following from Scripture:

“That ye behave not with your brother against the law, or with covetousness; For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. Thus the disobedient is not disobedient to man, but to God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit ”(1 Thess. 4: 6–8).

I am increasingly amazed at the seriousness of those words. God often does not warn with revenge if we do not do what He wants, but He speaks very serious words here. These words are associated with holiness.

I think you know what it is, He is talking about fornication and passion. We understand that holiness is a devotion to God when nothing in this world defiles our inner man, where there is no abomination.

God’s Word says that we should not act against each other illegally and do anything selfishly against each other.

With these words, I see the clash of two worlds: Godly and the sinful. We know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, being rich, became poor for us, that we might be made rich out of his poverty.

This is the heavenly world, for God loved this world by giving His only begotten Son, that all who believe in Him may not perish but have eternal life.

This world of God collides with the sinful world of love of money – the root of all evil. It is natural that God gives. The carnal person wants to receive – this is his quality, his tendency, the person often does not even understand it.

A reputable person says, “I have only one life, I want to get it all. I don’t want to live worse than other people. I want my children and myself to have everything.”

It seems to be a normal and natural desire, but it sometimes contains a desire which is expressed in extreme greed. Notice that looting, skill, and the desire to take something are placed alongside fornication, drunkenness, and other sins.

When I came to God, I had no desire to have the nicest home, I didn’t care Is anyone got more than I did. But there were other temptations. I wanted my Bible not to be worse than others, I wanted to get more in other areas that had become valuable to me. It was a very important moment in my life when God set me free from it. As a young brother, I wanted God to bless me, and I want it today.

But God once said to me, “My son, I understand that you want a blessing, but I want to tell you: you have to understand that it doesn’t matter to you where the blessing comes from. Rejoice when God blesses the church. And whether it comes through you or another brother – it is none of your business where these sources come from. “

God wants our attitude toward other people not to be based on getting something from them, so that it is not built against the law, but based on sacrificial love. It is legal to love one’s neighbor as oneself, it is not illegal. I don’t think the apostle accidentally said “illegal” or used the phrase “with love.”

God’s Word teaches us to love and shows us how to love: “Honor your elders” – in Russian, German and Hebrew – “stand up before your elders.”

And never do to another what you don’t want to be done to you, but on the contrary, do what you want people to do to you.

You know, it is written that the lamp of the body is the eye. You don’t know throught what eyes I’m looking at, and I don’t know what eyes you’re looking at me with.

I do not need to know it, but God knows it.

And when I call my mother and ask, “Mom, how are you?” But I really want to know if she will help me financially today, then I act selfishly. I’m not saying you can’t call and ask for money. We are very busy people. But to what extent are there telephone calls in our relationships and the desire to meet where we get nothing, but only because we are aroused by love for each other? To what extent does it exist in our lives?

Apparently the apostles were very concerned about that. I once drew attention to a passage where the Apostle Paul instructed people who, as we say today, distributed humanitarian aid.

We may have noticed that when the apostles appointed the deacons to take care of the tables, they chose very spiritual people for this work. What about us? Is it necessary to get clergy to distribute “humanitarian aid”? Yes! Because wherever money and abundance come, there will be a battle.

The Apostle Paul says let the brethren come with us, for with such an abundance of sacrifices we do not want to be criticized. The apostle Paul said, “Whosoever shall give to others, let him do it with a sincere heart.” And that word “with a sincere heart” touched me. What an interesting guide. He did not say “fairly”, “carefully”, but he says: sincerely. A person with a sincere heart can share these things completely freely because it does not concern him and it does not bother him. He cares that he is trusted, that he can be a blessing to others.

I have noticed how one worldly person always wanted to receive. After he became a believer, he began to help other people, but not at his own expense: “Brethren, help! Sisters, help! ” It happens. I do not know how you understand this issue. I understand that paying tithing is not a matter of the Old Testament, but also part of the New Testament.

Let’s see how Jesus Christ talked about giving – a widow who gave two small coins.

Did these coins play any role in the temple? Probably not. But it was the whole life of the widow and God noticed it. She did not come to the temple to receive anything, although with 2 coins she could have asked for help, but she came to the temple to give, to share, to bless, because she came to God.

Finally, I try to summarize my thoughts and leave something for reflection for God to teach us. May we have a selfless desire to bring blessings into this world, including material ones, through our power, which we actually receive from God in due time as the grace of Christ, who became poor for us, who gave us his Holy Spirit.

The author of the text, Richard Zimmermann, is the bishop of the Association of Christian Evangelical Churches in Germany.


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