Spiritual Reflections on Building Love by Pat Ramsey

Highland wants to encourage you during our capital campaign to undergird you and your family’s decisions with a spiritual foundation about stewardship. This four-part weekly guide is for you to use for devotional time.

We are entering our Capital Campaign. I have often wondered why Christ made a difference in what He demanded from Zacchaeus (Luke 19: 1-10) and from the rich young ruler (Luke 8: 18-23). In the story of Zacchaeus, Christ did not demand that he sell all he possessed and give it to the poor, even though the tax collector had stolen and misused his position to gain wealth. The difference seems to be that Zacchaeus was already prepared in his heart to make amends to those he had cheated.

Christ knew both their hearts and the young ruler worshipped his possessions. In his mind there was no connection to how he might share his wealth with the poor around him. He felt no desire to help them. Zacchaeus had a true change of heart and it affected how he treated others. His possessions were no longer just his.

I went to New Orleans once to represent HBC at a home missions conference. I visited one of the worst housing projects
I have ever seen. Yet Young Christian professionals had gone there every Saturday for Bible study and had games and snacks for the children. I was surprised that 300 children came that day! I was amazed at the time the young people had given to that ministry as the few months they had committed had stretched into years as they found joy and purpose in being there. I am sure many were in stressful jobs and would have liked to use Saturday for rest or for personal pleasure. Their efforts were multiplied when a young man from that community became a Christian and started the first church in the projects.

What does God freely give? He gives his Son, even unto death; He gives us eternal life and His watch care and He promises to be with us in all our sorrows and disappointments. He withholds nothing. We might think that God demands too much of us, but there is no comparison when we look at what He has given out of the love and goodness of His heart. Christ is the supreme role model of God’s generosity, and the Holy Spirit would have us reflect that same wonderful generosity. ~ Pat Ramsey