Galatians 5 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional

“For you have been called to live in freedom – not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14

He was known as the “Secret Santa”. Beginning on Thanksgiving and continuing through New Year’s Eve, and elderly man began handing out $20 bills to strangers. Over the course of the next 30 years, “Secret Santa” gave away almost 2 million dollars.

A few years ago, his identity was revealed. In a twist of tragic irony, the “Secret Santa” who had helped so many was, himself, in need of benevolence. He needed a kidney transplant and he didn’t have enough money to pay for it.

For the cynics, this story is confirmation of how idiotic philanthropy is. They say giving money without personal accountability, or getting a tax deduction is bad stewardship. Skeptics would say people should only work their way out of poverty. They would even say benevolence should only be left to professionals.

What the cynics will (no doubt) fail to recognize is how people worldwide rallied to pay for “Secret Santa’s” operation. So much money poured in, that a fund has been set up to spend the excess. “Secret Santa” will end up giving more out of poverty, than when he was rich!

“The next year the Egyptians came again and said, ‘Our money is gone and our livestock are yours. We have nothing left but our bodies and land. Why should we die before your very eyes? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we will then become slaves to Pharaoh.’” Gen 47:18-19a

As in the days of Joseph’s leadership in Egypt, people in America are selling themselves into bondage. They are enslaved to credit card and mortgage companies. America’s insatiable desire for “self” has driven it into slavery…even government shutdown at the Federal level! The average American household maintains over $12,000 in credit card debt. Most of us can’t afford to give to the poor, even if we wanted to.

It reminds me of today’s passage. Compared to the World economy, most of America’s “impoverished” are still in possession of considerable disposable wealth. G_d has blessed us with spiritual and financial wealth…not to waste it all on ourselves, but to invest it in His Kingdom.

When we use our freedom to satisfy ourselves, we become slaves to our desires. But if we love our neighbors as ourselves, the L_rd (Who sees what is done in secret) will bless the faithful.

~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Shuvah Yisrael
Daily Devotional, Thursday, October 3, 2013