“Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.” (Philippians 4:15)
Now, I know Paul is referring to the “giving and receiving” of alms and tithing and whatnot, but what about “the true riches” as spoken of by Jesus in Luke’s Gospel (16:11)? Because they’re two different things.
“If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” As an aside, the word mammon (of Chaldean origin) connotes the confidence (ie greed) that money bestows. I may be going all over, follow me here.
So, what are the “true riches” anyway? It could have something to do with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. “Power to serve” and all that. In my opinion, I believe it refers to the hearts of people. Something akin to what Jesus says when praying to His Father in John 17 (verse 11): “those whom Thou hast given me”… Because if God gives someone to you, be it a child, a spouse, a boarder in whatever capacity, you’re gonna need the power of the Holy Spirit in order to take care of, not just their physical needs, but also needs emotional and spiritual, etc. I.e. all of them.
“He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth Him that sent me.” (Matthew 10:40)
“as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Put those two verses together in context and notice how each person that we interact with ends up reflecting, not just on ourselves, but God as well. We represent God. And so does everyone else. Whether we—or they—realize it or not. So when Jesus talks about being faithful in the “unrighteous mammon”, or money, He’s talking about wealth and worth. And as we, each and every one of us, is worth the world to God, He looks at whether or not we’re faithful with what we earn and how we will use that to better the lives of those we’re entrusted to help and protect. Not just ourselves, everyone else.
“The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.” (Proverbs 10:22)
One day (prior to payday) I was riding around on my bike, running errands, feeling the need to give to a certain ministry of which I’m fond. I only had a certain amount of time to get said errands done and I couldn’t have made it to where I needed to go in order to start the process for said donation. On my way back home, the left-front brake line of my bike snapped and after the pain subsided in my left middle and ring fingers, I thought to myself good thing I didn’t give that money, looks like I’ll need it to replace my brake line. Sounds sound enough. The next day, after a friend dropped me off at the bike shop, then rode away in his pickup, I made my way across the street to get lunch to sit and write and wait for my bike to be repaired. I should add that the repairs, minor repairs at that, were gonna cost me thirteen bucks. Certainly not enough to break the bank. Far less than what my panicked mind was expecting when it happened. After my fingers had stopped hurting of course (it was cold out) and after I thought it better not to have donated. So thirteen bucks, eh? Well, as I made my way to where I was going, I ended up finding fourteen dollars strewn across the parking lot on my way there. I was content with the first three. Wondering what I’d done to warrant this good fortune. Just joking, I’m not superstitious. And I don’t usually crane my neck looking for more, but after I then found a five spot, then another, then a single in a puddle, I was all ears, and eyes. Alas, all I found was a dime on my way back after lunch. So, really, it was $14.10. More than enough to pay for my bike repairs. The point is, God has no shortage of funds. If it’s money you’ll need, give to receive. As if this even needs stating but, God paid for my bike repairs. What else was fourteen dollars going to buy me at that time? And if you’re worried about where the money’s going to go after you send it, don’t. The obedience is in the giving. And again, if I may toot my own horn, I would like to add that it’s not like I wasn’t willing to give, but sometimes God wants us to both be willing, then do it. To “put works to our faith”, as it were.
Point is, go ahead and give, and it doesn’t even have to be money. God will see to it that your needs are well supplied.
“And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)
“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (Hebrews 13:2)