October 16, Saturday

REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on January 19, 2014.  

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Learning from the Tiny Creatures”

1 Tim. 6:18

Command [who are rich in this world] . . . to be generous and willing to share.”

Upon receiving an e-mail from my son’s college about an alumnus who donated $50 million to this liberal arts school, I recalled his name from an article I read many years ago regarding a man who returned to his old grade school to promise scholarships. 

Eugene Lang grew up in a ramshackle in Harlem, N.Y.C. where his immigrant parents scraped for a living.  He himself worked as a dishwasher while attending high school.  Through hard work, he made his millions in the high-tech industry, after which, he resisted the trappings of wealth— walking to work and flying coach to overseas meetings.    In 1980, Mr. Lang told 61 sixth graders graduating from his old Harlem school that he would give them each $2,000 toward their college tuition, with more to come if they kept working toward college.  By 1985, with 18 months to go till high school graduation, 52 of the students still had not quit school.  

Proverbs 6:6 exhorts the sluggard to learn from the industrious ant.  So, whether Mr. Lang is a Christian, we can learn a lot from this man.  While his generosity quickly jumps out of the page, another attribute is just as impressive:  not forgetting his roots.   He kept returning to places that apparently impacted him the most, to give back: the grade school that he attended as a child, the college that he began at the age of 15, and also Columbia Business School, where he received an M.S., to which he also made a large donation.

There are many things in our past that we ought to forget.  When Paul writes, “Forgetting what is behind” (Phil. 3:13a), it certainly includes our sinful ways and excuses that justify them.  But one thing we should never forget: “Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced” (1 Chr. 16:12).  The moment we forget God’s active and steadfast presence in our lives that resulted in all that we possess—inward goods, such as faith and character, as well as material goods—we become prideful and indifferent to the plight of others.   We will not be generous.  

For those who have forgotten what they used to be like, “remember the height from which you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first” (Rev. 2:5).   So, what do you remember doing to express your love toward Christ in the early days of walking with him?  Do that. 

Prayer: Lord, help me to learn from the industrious ants so that I will work as diligently as those tiny creatures in order that I will have enough to share with others in Your Son’s name.   Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Haggai 1-2

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