(Part 132)


August 10, 2015

Today’s readings:

2 Corinthians 9:6-10

Psalm 112:1-9

John 12:24-26

Paul tells us about a basic Christian spiritual principle: what you sow you reap. “Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Cor 9:6). We want so much blessings from God, but we don’t put in what is required in order to reap such bounty.

Consider this:

  • We get excited about massive evangelization and the many souls that will be won, but we might remain in our comfort zones or at least do not plunge decisively into the work.
  • We deprive God of our tithe, thus robbing Him, but we ask for and look to financial blessings from Him.
  • We want to be proud of our strong community, but do not faithfully live out our covenant, thus affecting negatively its vibrancy and effectiveness.

For some, the problem is that they think that by giving to God, they would deprive themselves, whether it is time, talent or treasure. Again they fail to appreciate another spiritual principle: God is never outdone in generosity. “Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8). As we give to God, we will never lack. And we will have abundance.

When we give to God what is His due, we experience the blessings of the just. “Hallelujah! Blessed the man who fears the Lord, …. his descendants shall be mighty in the land, …. wealth and riches shall be in his house” (Ps 112:1a,2a,3a). But it is not just about material or financial well-being. It is also about emotional well-being. “For he shall never be shaken; …. he shall not fear and ill report; …. his heart is tranquil, without fear” (Ps 112:6a,7a,8a). And much more important, it is about spiritual well-being, as “his righteousness shall endure forever. Light shines through the darkness for the upright” (Ps 112:3b-4a).

Now that we understand these spiritual principles, we can resolve to go all the way, to sow bountifully so as to reap bountifully. What is going all the way? It is when we give not just our time, talent and treasure, but our very lives. It is when we are able to die to ourselves. Jesus gives yet a third spiritual principle. “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat, but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (Jn 12:24). We die to self so that Jesus can truly live in and through us. We die to self so that we can become those effective instruments that the Holy Spirit can use for His purposes.

How do we die to self?

  • We give generously of all that we are without counting the cost.
  • We look not to power or position or acclaim, but give the glory only to God.
  • We rejoice in suffering for the cause of Christ.
  • We expend ourselves to serve others in order that they may live and experience the salvation of God.

Jesus gave his all. As his disciples, we are called to do the same. “Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be.” (Jn 12:26a). We follow Jesus all the way to the cross, and beyond, to be with him eternally in heaven.

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