Seeing Lazarus

There was a rich man.  There was a poor man.
Beggar

Your Response?

The poor man, crippled and sick, was laid outside the rich man’s house every day to beg.
One day the poor man died and was bound for heaven.  Why?  The story doesn’t say. Perhaps his only hope left was in God.
The rich man died and was bound for hell. Why – because his life was his possessions and he had no compassion for his poor neighbor.
The rich man had every chance to do good.  After all, the poor man was laid at his gate EVERY day. He had to notice him.  Did he even look at him?  Maybe he saw him the first few times, but after that, not so much.
Could I be the rich man?
Who has God laid before my gate? Is there someone I don’t see anyone.  Should I see someone?  Lord? Help me to see.
He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy – Proverbs 14:21
Photo 2003 Kyle LeaseFlickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

 

Do It Now!

Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.  Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back later; I’ll give it tomorrow”- when you now have it with you. ~ Proverbs 3:27-28

Success equals action.

Early success author and self-made millionaire, W. Clement Stone was among the  earliest proponents of the “do it now” approach to business success.

Don’t over-think, over-analyze or waste time studying a matter when you have all the basic facts at hand to decide.  Do it now.

When you see someone in need we should take the same approach.  The Proverb tells us the following:

  1. If the person is deserving – you have already determined this is a legitimate need -not a scam of some type.
  2. If you have the power to act
  3. Take action – do not wait another day
  4. Do not make promises – Do It Now!

Why now, why not later?

  1. The opportunity may not present itself again.
  2. You eliminate the most powerful force that keeps you from success – procrastination.
  3. You unlock that greatest of success secrets – the “power of today”

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”~ Anne Frank

 

Multiple Streams of Income – Biblical?

The idea of Multiple Streams of Income is to set up and engage in a multitude of business and other ventures producing streams of income so that if one enterprise happened to fail the individual would still have others that would continue to produce.  It fits very well into the teachings of caution, prudence and foresight as found in the Book of Proverbs.

Most people depend on a single job for income – an extremely risky model considering that you are completely dependent on one industry, one company, one organization for your livelihood.  Why, even governments are laying off workers today.

Can the concept of multiple streams of income be found in the Bible?  The answer is yes!

“Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days your will find it again. Give portions to seven, yes to eight, for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land. “ ~ Ecclesiastes 11

Notice most importantly that this verse describes income both coming and going.

Most importantly is the giving aspect. Most commentaries agree this verse is about giving.  We are to give to others freely with open hand, generously and liberally.  Give to different causes, like casting your money on the waters, out of mercy and compassion, not looking for recognition or thanks.

Sowing by Hand

Old Timer Sowing by Hand

It can also refer to investing or planting. The word bread according to some commentators can refer to the actual seed of the plant which when liberally spread upon the flood waters takes root in the rich deposits of soil left behind when the water has receded.  This requires a bold use of precious resources – yes, some seed can be completely washed away! But the seed on that falls on the rich soil more than makes up for what is lost.

 

One commentator refers to Solomon’s many ventures – ventures to Ophir for gold, wheat and oil to Lebanon in exchange for cedar and cut stone. Solomon’s fleet of trading ships returning with gold, silver and ivory from Africa.  Many different ventures, many projects going at the same time.

In the Bible money or wealth is not something to be hoarded or accumulated but is to be put to work.

How to get started? Begin with your giving.

Give beyond the walls of your church or denomination.  Perhaps a donation to a shelter or mission in your hometown doing a worthwhile work or that letter from a youth looking for support on a mission trip.  Think locally but also globally. Maybe you can support an orphanage in Kenya or native missionary in Asia.  Some organizations will allow you to purchase small livestock for needy families to help them get started.

See yourself boldly acting in faith, reaching into that bag of precious seed and flinging it across the waters!

We will address the income aspect in a future post.