We and our Wealth
by Antony Raj
And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance (Luke 8:3 KJV)
There was a news item in The Hindu dated 05.8.2010 : More than 30 American billionaires pledged to give away at least half of their fortunes to charitable causes, signing up to a campaign launched by Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
It is happy and a welcome news. Because, today governments in the world are unable to manage the problems faced by people. Even though there are causes like corruption, unemployment, absence of long term plans, wars, terrorism, epidemic diseases, natural disasters, drought, etc., the fact is that the world today is struggling to meet the challenges posed by ever increasing population and governments the world over have utterly failed to rise up to the occasion. In this scenario, the effort of such philanthropists is praiseworthy.
At the same time, it is also a fact that, these crorepatis (millionaires) are going to spend their fortunes to meet the physical needs of a particular people in the areas of education, medical, preservation of resources & ecosystem, health, poverty alleviation and so on and so forth.
The Lord Jesus Christ is more concerned for a man’s spiritual needs than meeting his physical needs.has many references to support this fact. For example, in Luke Chapter 17, we see Jesus, though happy about the only man who had returned to thank Him, he was worried about the other nine who were also cured of their disease but never bothered to return. While the man who had come back to Him got the spiritual blessing of Salvation, the others went away satisfied with mere physical blessing.
In another place at Luke Chapter 12, we here Jesus ridiculing a rich man who was rejoicing over his accumulation of grain to be used for many years. He called him ‘a fool’. "For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but forfeits his life (soul)? Or what can a person give in exchange for his life (soul)?" (Matt. 16:26). Even if the things which are much talked of today with concern, such as basic and other social welfare needs, are fulfilled, “ the redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth for ever: their spiritual redemption is rare; it is never possible” (Ps. 49:9).
As seen above, man’s physical needs may be met by governments and millionaires. But, the spiritual needs or redemption can never be met by them. Because, "neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name (except the Name of Jesus Christ) under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Act. 4:12).
The Lord Jesus Christ can meet both physical as well as spiritual needs of a man. Since He knows a man’s needs, He is able to help him like a father helps his son and even more than that. If so, it is necessary for us to accept Him as our Father. It is very easy. The Scripture says : "as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12). "For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith" (Gal.3:26).
Therefore, a man first believes in Jesus and worships his Name. This is how he receives salvation for his soul. Once he receives this precious salvation, he can fulfill both his spiritual and physical needs. This way one can, "above all pursue His kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to us as well" (Matt.6:33). Moreover, “Everyone who believes in Him will not be put to shame.” and "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Rom. 10:11,13).
Hence, while it is essential that man’s temporary physical needs are to be met through social welfare measures and governments, more than that, he needs the eternal blessings of Salvation which no one can give except the Lord Jesus Christ.
For those of us who are enjoying the blessing of Salvation, it is both necessary and responsibility to pray, help and work for them who have not entered into this blessing.
One of the 30 millionaires referred above and Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg said while pledging to give away his wealth to a social cause thus : “By giving, we inspire others to give of themselves, whether their money or their time”.
According to Bloomberg, ‘giving’ brings two kinds of blessings. Apart from helping social causes and ministries, it inspires those who are unable to or on the verge of taking a decision with regard to 'giving'.