By Pastor Lee Hemen
August 13, 2008
The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. (2 Timothy 2:6)
Why is it there are so many people who want something for nothing? I believe it comes from people’s inborn greed. As infants we know immediately how to say, “Mine!” and not share. I find it extremely humorous when well intentioned parents think that little Betty or Billy are actually born with a sharing gene. Recently I was in one of those huge grocery stores where you bag your own groceries. A young mother was getting between two young and very active children of about 3 and 5 years old. After telling each of them, in a nice, quiet, even and friendly tone to “Do not touch that” and “Put those back” about a dozen times in 30 seconds and “No, you cannot have that” a half a dozen times in about the same period, and a few “Now boys, that’s not the way we treat one another,” she finally lost it. She grabbed one of them, put her finger in his face and declared, “Look, if you and your brother cannot quit asking for stuff, get along, and keep your hands to yourselves you will wish you had!” Interestingly, I discovered her Lexus had a bumper sticker that read: “Violence never solved anything. Kindness cures hate.” I wonder if her two little greedy urchins knew this to be true? Like I said, inborn greed syndrome.
Did you know that most scams center around people’s personal greed? Con artists know it is almost impossible for people to pass up a good thing. What seems to be too good to be true, usually is. Here, we find Paul telling Timothy that in the spiritual realm there is no shortcuts and nothing comes without a sacrifice. If you want to be strong in the grace of Christ Jesus, you have to be willing to personally sacrifice for it. A farmer knows what this means. He buys seed, plants it, waters it, and then hopes it will grow without too many weeds. Then he has to work at keeping the weeds that do come up with the crop out of it, fertilize it, and continue to water and care for it daily. Then, when it is ripe, he has to harvest it, pack it, store it, and or sell it by getting it to market or a buyer. Famers work hard and “should be the first to receive a share of the crops.” Why should someone who is lazy and has not invested in the planting, care of, and harvest share in the outcome? They should not, yet there are many who think they should when it comes to the work of the church. Far too many Christians live a welfare life where their spirituality is concerned. Like little piglets they greedily suckle at the breast of those who put themselves on the line daily for the Lord. They don’t tithe, they don’t serve, they don’t pray, and their praise or worship of God is only for what enjoyment they can derive from it. Much of the church today has a preschooler attitude about what is “Mine!” Sadly, far too many churches cater to the infant mentality of personal greed through commercialization and ego stroking.
Where are you at today dear child of Christ? Do you go to church wanting it to give you something for nothing? What have you invested in the work of the Lord on a regular basis? What daily sacrifices do you make in time, talent, or treasure to further the harvest in the Kingdom of God? “The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops,” but if you are watching and waiting on the sidelines while others do the heavy lifting, what does that tell the Lord about your faith?
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.