TITLE: Big Gifts
DATE: January 15, 2019
TEXT: Luke 6:32-33 -ESV - “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
Washington State Social Worker, Alan Naiman, died of cancer last year at the age of 63. Just a few of the facts you might want to know about Alan would be Alan had never married, nor had he ever had a child of his own. He was a good worker, sometimes laboring at three jobs at a time. He saved the money he earned, as well as the money he inherited.
In order to save that money Alan was incredibly… and the next word you would use would be determined by how you felt about him… If you liked Alan, you would say, “Alan was incredibly thrifty.” If you didn’t like Alan, you would say “Alan was really, really, cheap.” Then you would add,
No matter how you felt about Alan, you had to be impressed by the fact that when he died he left a fortune of over $11 million dollars.
Now here is where I think things got interesting. Although Alan had never had children of his own, he loved kids… especially those who “fell through the cracks” of society’s caring programs. Having lived his entire life with a brother who was developmentally disabled, Naiman wanted to assist those children to whom life had been most unfair.
That’s why Alan left:
To sum up the benevolent giving of Alan, I find myself looking at the passage above. Alan didn’t give to those who could give back to him… or those who would love him. He gave after he had passed away, and he offered his gifts to needy people who never knew him.
You know, unless I miss my guess, that is the kind of follower Jesus is looking for. He wants His elect to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit the imprisoned and in general be ‘good Samaritans’ to the entire world.
And just why would we do this?”, we wonder?
We do it because He asked us, too. We do it to follow His example. We love because He first loved us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, our Savior came into this world and through His life did all which was necessary for me to receive His gifts of forgiveness and eternal life. For this I give thanks and ask the ability to reflect His love into the lives of others Who are as of this moment, lost. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written by .the Newser editors for Newser on December 28, 2018 Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: http://www.newser.com/story/269195/social-worker-patched-shoes-with-duct-tape-left-11m.html
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html
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