Stingy people are poor people indeed


Ever had one of those moments when you know something and no one else in the group does? You are almost chatting at the bit to get an opportunity to share it with someone, but perhaps you have been sworn to secrecy and cannot share it. The information you possess is almost too big to be contained. I think this is the way it is with what God gives us - it is almost too big for us to contain it! It leaves us feeling like we'd have to share it, or we'd burst. 
Imagine heading off to the market one day in search of a new lamp for your home. Anticipation mounts, for you have a particular mission in mind. Exploration of shelf upon shelf, for there are many lamps from which to choose. Choosing just the right one, expectation begins to build for you can imagine the light it will bring to your home. Then at last, you have the joy of experience - for the light shed illuminates all you could not see otherwise. If we have such an experience in seeking, obtaining, and experiencing the spiritual light Christ brings, why would we ever tuck it away for no one else to experience?

Jesus went on: “Does anyone bring a lamp home and put it under a washtub or beneath the bed? Don’t you put it up on a table or on the mantel? We’re not keeping secrets, we’re telling them; we’re not hiding things, we’re bringing them out into the open. “Are you listening to this? Really listening? “Listen carefully to what I am saying—and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells you how to get ahead in the world on your own. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity. Stinginess impoverishes.” (Mark 4:21-25)

Anticipation is best understood as a type of "foretaste". There is some kind of hope which actually sets things in motion in our lives. We often don't know what it is we will discover as we spend time with Jesus, but we know from previous "tastes" of time in his presence, it will be a good thing. What we may not realize is that the word "anticipation" is a noun of ACTION. To anticipate something doesn't mean we wait in inactivity for whatever it is we hope to receive from our time with God - it means we enter into his presence with ACTION (not activity). There is a purpose - an intent - and it moves us. This is a moment of examination - for some things worth having require a little determined examination to uncover. I have learned this as I have been exposed to a few antique shops. Not all shops put the "good finds" right out there in the open. You almost always have to dig through shelf after shelf, box after box, or hidden crannies to find it. I think God may give us these times of examining what he has for us because he wants to us to come to a place of determined commitment to "find".

Once we are intent in our search and purposeful in our exploration, we are at the point of having to choose the truth we will hold onto. We are faced with many choices of "truth" in our lives - only one choice holds up to the test of time - the truth of God's word. Choosing involves consideration of the alternatives. God gives us each free will - the ability to choose. Whenever we are faced with choices, we consider the alternatives. Using our illustration of the lamp, we can choose one which is square and squat, or one which is tall and slender. One might fit the space better - while the other might just provide better light in the room. The choice is ours - choosing the one which "fits" our needs the best is oftentimes aided by the "nudges" of the one presenting us the options. God presents the options - we make the choice. As we begin to embrace truth, it begins to build an anticipated excitement within which we sometimes refer to as expectation. It is good to know our heavenly Father is overjoyed with us anticipating his good gifts - with eager anticipation and excited expectation.

The light shed in our time with Jesus illuminates our choices like nothing else. It all culminates in experience, doesn't it. When the light finally fills the room of our heart, darkness is dispelled. When darkness no longer taunts our heart (mind, will, and emotions), we are free to move like never before. God's hope for us is that we will come into a place of being "light-filled" and living with right choices, as a result. Let's learn to embrace God's light and not be stingy in sharing it with others. Just sayin!

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