Gathering

"The one that gathered much, didn't have more, and the one that gathered little, didn't have less" (2 Cor. 8:15).

Many Christian circles of our times look for success: to show that he is blessed by God, the Christian should prosper; to testify of his prosperity he needs to accumulate possessions. However, this is the current of this world, and not the Word of God: "Because all that is in the world, the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, doesn't come from the Father, but from the world. And the world is passing away, with its desires; but the one who does the will of God remains forever" (1 John 2:16-17).

The first text is a reference to the gathering of the manna in the desert (Ex. 16:16-21). Every day, God poured down the manna from heaven, and each person could take for himself a gomer that is equivalent to 3,7 litres. Those that didn't have an obedient heart took a lot more than what God had given them, and it decomposed. And those that prepared their heart in obedience, when they picked up more, they shared it with those that picked up less, and therefore there was equality.

This is a teaching for us today, as it was for the brothers and sisters in the early church. They had revelation of this word and they distributed their goods among those that didn't have anything (Acts 2:44-45). The Christian life is not based on the letter, but on compassion. Love should not be by word of mouth, but in deed and truth. Our goods are for this life, but godliness has promises for this present life and for the life to come (1 Tim 4:8-9).

Those that didn't trust the Lord in gathering, and kept more than their quota for that day, what they accumulated decomposed. And those that waited in the Lord for the next day, they lived in communion with other brothers and sisters whom they shared with. The most energetic or skilled that gathered a lot, shared with the one that had a little. In the end, the one that gathered much didn't have an overabundance and the one that picked up little didn't have a lack, and this way there was equality: "Your abundance replaces their shortage, so that their abundance also supplies your necessity, that there may be equality" (2 Cor. 8:14).

Our need is not to accumulate goods, or to have savings that give us security for tomorrow. Only the Lord is the guarantee and the hope of our days: "Surely man is like a shadow; surely he toils in vain; he piles up wealth, and he doesn't know who will gather it. And now, Lord, for what will I wait? My hope is in you" (Psalm 39:6-7).

If we store things up as a guarantee it is because our heart is not trusting in the Lord. If it is not as a guarantee, then it is mere selfishness. In this case we will be impoverished in the Kingdom of God. Those that gather more and store it up, their goods are already rotten in the eyes of God: "Your wealth is rotten, and your clothes are food for moths. Your gold and silver have rusted; and their rust will testify against you, and it will devour your flesh like fire" (James 5:2-3). Let's put off the old man's meanness and greed, and put on the new man, Christ, who is compassionate and generous.

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