45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God’s wrath.
As I am reading this statement by Luther, I am struck with the thought that already at the time of Luther they had people in need that people had a tendency to simply “walk by”. For that matter those type of needy people were already around at the time of Jesus. How are we to treat these people today?
We stated before that Jesus explained that love shown to those in need in our lives is love shown to God Himself! When we start to think in those terms, the question becomes “why would you pass up an opportunity to show love?”
We often see the person on the side of the road and justify our passing by with thoughts like, “they would just misuse that money I might give” or “why don’t they get a job?” If God has given me the resources to help someone in need, as Luther says it would be wrong not to help. It does not matter so much what is done with my help that is on the conscience of the person that I help. I cannot hold back my help because I think that it might not be used the way that I think it should be.
I need to think of the gifts that I give to those in need and to the church as gifts given to God! I am giving back out of love for Him and showing respect for the resources that He has put in my life. I want to treat all that I have as a gift from God and therefore what I do with all the resources He gives is important not just what I give to charitable causes.
What it comes down too, is that a life lived for God is a life lived generously.
Dear God please change my hard heart! Give me a heart that beats for You! Let me see You in all that I do, that I may live all of my life for You. In Jesus name. Amen