Good morning to all of you. Christ is Risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia! Our text today is from Proverbs 11:24. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.”
All we have comes from God, and he expects us to share with others what has been entrusted to us. We are to give generously and sacrificially to the Lord and those in need. And God blesses our giving, not because we have earned it but simply because He loves us.
So, we can live generously … or we can choose a life-style of hoarding. “Another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” We started hoarding when as children, in the sandbox, we kept our toys to ourselves and didn’t let others play with them. We see that same hoarding spirit in adults, when in our day, people hoard supplies like toilet paper, hand sanitizer and cleaning products. Hoarding needs to be labeled for what it is–sin! Though we withhold to gain riches, the proverb is correct in that hoarding leads to poverty. We have all seen stories, now, where those who have hoarded supplies have tried to return them and store after store says, “I’m sorry we can’t take that back.”
How can we learn to give generously? St. Paul gives us the answer. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you, through His poverty, might become rich (2 Cor. 8:9). God freely gave us His Son, Jesus, to become poor so that we might become rich – rich in forgiveness, grace and mercy.
Giving is living. Hoarding is death. God gives us His Son and equips us through His Spirit to adopt a life-style of giving. Keep that in mind as you respond to the many opportunities for giving that are all around us. Will you think on these things? Amen.
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine