Weekly Sabbath Survey
Graspers, Claspers & Givers — 1-24-2015
A devotional I read a while back presented the Good Samaritan story as a showcase of three types of humanity. I couldn’t get the thesis out of my head, being a person who learns and teaches about the usually three divisions among us for various things. It’s a teaching tool we find repeated many times in the Gospels in red letters.
In the classic story, we see the Jewish traveler left bleeding and dying on the Jericho Road after being brutally attacked by The Graspers. The robbers. These are a class of people who may or may not be actual criminals or violent, but they are the TAKERS of the world. In business and friendships, they are always looking for an angle, a way to get something for nothing. They take from others always. I have seen this when people took credit for something they didn’t do, which is the spiritual equivalent of theft. They may steal something intangible, but they are still a thief. A Grasper.
The next persons to appear on this scene in our story is the priest and the Levite. These are supposedly spiritual people, big part of the church crowd. These men had the means to help the injured man, but they chose not to. They were CLASPERS, clasping their blessings to their own bosoms, refusing to share with someone in need. We can find reasons for doing as they did even today. “If I give to the poor it will just keep them going ’til the next handout and not really help in the long run.” Or, “I have important business to take care of and don’t have time for soup kitchens or working on a widow’s little house in disrepair.” Or, my personal favorite, “I got what I have by working hard and living frugally, and I am not going to give it away to someone who has not done that for themselves.” All these people claim to know God, but turn a blind eye to most every need they see.
The next person on the scene is the Samaritan. He is not Jewish like the poor unconscious traveler, the difference in their clothing would confirm this. But even though this man knew how the Jewish people despised his race, he stopped his own likely important journey to tend to this man’s wounds. He put the man on his own donkey and found a place for him to stay until he was healed. He gave the innkeeper money for the man’s food and medical care. He promised to return on his way back from Jericho to pay any amount that went beyond what he paid up front. This man was a GIVER. He had blessings that he was willing to share even with a stranger who could very well have been an enemy!
Here’s some thoughts about being a giver. God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son. Jesus said, “No man takes my life, I GIVE it myself.”
When the salvation of the Lord overtakes you in the form of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, you are propelled into a state of becoming a GIVER. The Lord Himself will show us areas of giving. That Spirit within teaches us to keep our hand open. The open hand receives blessings from God and also releases a portion of the blessings back to others. It is a constant flow of giving love, goods, food, money, and whatever else the Lord finds for us to do. One of the most precious things we can give others is our TIME. When we see any kind of a need, we pray and if the Lord gives us the green light, it will be within our means to give something to help meet that need.
In the New Testament, tithing is never mentioned for Believers in The Way. However, they are certainly encouraged to GIVE, and offerings were taken to support the poor and finance mission trips. Tithing is limited to 10%. Giving has no limits. The surest sign of a real Jesus Follower is a person who GIVES from whatever stores they have, be they large or small. People who are not this kind of a Giver, are the Claspers.
Grasping and Clasping should not be found in the congregation of the Lord. I tell you the truth that in our day and time, giving to a church is NOT this kind of giving. Upkeep on the church building, and support for the organization and hired people, is not GIVING. If we give to something that greatly benefits ourselves, it isn’t the Samaritan kind of giving. Samaritan giving is to someone who cannot do anything for us in return. And it is even better if we manage to give without them knowing who did it.
When you are doing your giving, make it a private matter: so your giving is done in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret Himself will reward you openly. Matthew 6:3-4
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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