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Pointers along the way #144

Having, and getting more
- Jacob Ninan

Jesus spoke about a sure way of getting more, which is quite unlike what many Christians are being taught now a days. He said that those who have will be given more, and from those who don't have, even what they have will be taken away! This is quoted five times in the four gospels, three times in connection with the parable of the sower and the different types of ground, and two times in relation to the parable of the talents (Mt.13:12;25:29;Mk.4:25;Lk.8:18;Lk.19:26).

At first glance, this doesn't seem to make sense, giving to someone who already has and taking away from someone who hardly has any. So we conclude that Jesus meant something other than what appears on the surface. He wasn't obviously talking about a business technique. He wasn't echoing what many people think, that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer.

Of course, what Jesus meant is that if we are faithful with what we have, we shall be entrusted with more, and that if we are unfaithful with what we have, even what we have will be taken away.

Jesus was talking about more than money. We tend to think in terms of money, wealth, what can give us a comfortable life, etc. Jesus said that if we were faithful with money, He would grant us true riches (Lk.16:11). True riches are what would be valuable in eternity, such as a godly character, divine wisdom, usefulness to God and people in terms of service, etc. If we demonstrate faithfulness in the little things of life (Lk.16:10), God will reward us by entrusting to us more responsibility, more fruitfulness and more usefulness.

In this sense all children of God are not equal. Even though all are saved by grace through faith, God is not able to trust everyone with the same level of responsibility. Some bear thirtyfold, some sixtyfold, and some hundredfold fruit. On the other hand, some even lose what they had already received from the Lord (e.g., anointing), because of carelessness and unfaithfulness.

Is there any greater joy on earth than to be useful to the Lord and to His people? Isn't this much more precious than silver or gold, or fame or name? (1Pe.1:7). Why hanker after more money, a bigger house or car, a greater name, etc.? When we learn to be more faithful, we get nearer to God's heart, and there we can enjoy pleasures and treasures that we cannot imagine elsewhere (Ps.16:11). Once we have tasted something of this, we seek all the more for more of it.

Faithfulness is more that righteousness. By being righteous we do what is right and avoid what is wrong. But by being faithful, we become better stewards of God's gifts, whether it is time, money, talents, or opportunities. Then our mind will be focussed on what God wants, what would glorify God, what would delight His heart, etc., rather that what we can get from Him. This is the life that would satisfy His heart as well as ours.