Gift and appointment – from God

By Dave Henning / September 6, 2023

“Whatever you have is only by God’s gift and appointment (1 Chronicles 29:12-14).  So to not share with those who have less, to fail to meet their basic human needs . . . is being not simply unmerciful but unjust.”- Timothy Keller

“But who am I {King David], and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?  Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hands.”- 1 Chronicles 29:14 (NIV)

Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 11 of The Prodigal Prophet with a lesson about justice from the book of Jonah.  Therefore, Pastor Keller asks, what does the Bible mean in Isaiah 1:17 when it calls for people to “seek justice’ and “defend the oppressed”?  It means:

  • seeking equal treatment for all (Isaiah 1:23-24).
  • having a special concern for economically and socially vulnerable groups (Proverbs 31:8-9).
  • broad-based radical generosity.

Because, Pastor Keller underscores, we must realize that all social problems stem from our alienation from God.  As a result, there’s one most radical and loving thing you can do for a person.  Most significantly, that’s to see him or her reconciled to God.  In addition, compassion for the poor serves as a witness of an inevitable sign of a loving relationship with God.  As well as an experience of God’s grace.

In conclusion, as C. S. Lewis points out in The Abolition of Man (1947), two modern beliefs must not undermine each other.  These beliefs = we must all commit to equal rights and justice versus the nonexistence of God-given moral absolutes.  Hence, of this folly, Lewis observes:

“We continue to clamor for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. . . .  In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. . . .  We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.  We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

Today’s question: How do you minister to others using God’s gift and appointment to you?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The depth of God’s grace”

About the author

Dave Henning

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