Sunday, August 19, 2012

Greed or Generosity?

Picture by J.P. Weesner
A friend of mine took this picture the other day and posted it saying, "Probably a lot of people who are confused as to why they are different directions."  He's probably right. Shopping can become an act of worship within our materialistic culture.  It becomes a greedy stuff-grab, particularly during the holidays or right before school starts.   

In reality, the Holy Land Experience is a Christian themed amusement park, complete with a replica of the Jewish Temple overlooking I-4.  The Mall at Mellenia is a very upscale mall, developed by friends of my parents at our church. 

Knowing that the mall was developed by a tremendously Godly family, one day as I was sitting in the mall, enjoying the ambiance, I wondered what it would look like to have a mall like theirs in heaven. 

Immediately the thought that the Father downloaded was that it would include everything you could ever imagine and more--and all of it would be free.  However, there was one delightful catch: You could only pick out items for someone else.  Everything about Heaven will be about giving.  Can you imagine such a delightful place?  It would be Christmas every day.  Anyone who has ever gone to a toy store to pick out a toy for their deeply loved child knows the excitement of finding something perfect for them and the anticipation of waiting to see their face when they open it. 

It reminds me of an old church illustration.  Two groups were invited to a banquet at the palace.  It was a great honor and they were all on their best manners.  When they arrived, each group found that their places were set with 4 foot long forks.  None of the guests could bear to give up their manners and eat the delicious feast with their fingers.  The first group sat at the table and cried because they couldn't eat a bite with such implements.  The food looked delicious and their hungry stomachs growled.  The second group hesitated for a minute and then joyfully set about enjoying the feast.  What was the difference?  The second group quickly figured out that they could easily feed each other across the table.  It was even fun aiming for their neighbor's mouth and there was great laughter all around.  The first group only thought about feeding themselves and went hungry.  It always works that way.  Proverbs 11:25 says,

"The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed."

It may take a tremendous amount of trust to believe that what you give away will come back, but it's worth it.  I wish the joy of great generousity on you and your family today!

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