Greetings to All,
In light of "" (yesterday) with the stock market plummeting over 500 points due to the bankruptcy of , and the sell off of Merrill Lynch (which made both investors and the general public extemely leery of the economic stability of the market), I thought these quotes were appropriate.
They come from Martin Luther's book "Table Talk." And it's not just "talk" on his part. Luther was so well known for his generosity that when his wife Katie would hear someone knock at the front door, she would run and hide the silverware and dishes and other household essentials! Knowing Martin's generosity she feared that he would give them away, since he never sent any needy person away from his door empty handed!
Likewise, the first major effort of the Wittenburg church (once Luther took over as pastor) was to establish a "common chest" for welfare work. It provided for the children of poor people and orphans, poor maidens who needed an appropriate dowry for marriage; provided re-financing of high interest loans for burdened citizens at 4% annually (the lowest bank rates were 15% and went as high as 30% annually). It also and supported the educational or vocational training of poor children.
Luther, who was given the Augustinian monastery he had lived in when a friar, housed up to 30 people at a time on an ongoing basis - students, orphans, the sick, former nuns and monks who had left the Catholic church, and persecuted Christians from all over Europe. The following quotes explain his view on money. Enjoy.
To the objection that this (generosity) was open to abuse, Luther replied: "He who has nothing to live on should be aided. If he deceives us, what then? He must be aided again."
On another occasion: "God divided the hand with fingers, so that the money would slip through." "Three conversions are necessary for the believer - conversion of the heart, conversion of the mind and conversion of the purse."
And in a note to a friend he wrote:
"Give and it shall be given unto you. This is the maxim that maintains my house... There is a monastery in Austria, which, in former days was very rich, and remained rich as long as it was charitable to the poor. But when it ceased to give, then it became unworthy (of its wealth) and is so to this day. Not long ago a poor man went there and solicited alms, which was denied him. He demanded the cause why they refused to give for God's sake? The porter of the monastery answered: 'We are become poor." The mendicant then replied: 'The cause of your poverty is this: You had formerly in this monastery two brothers - the one was named Date (give) and the other was named Dabitur (it shall be given to you). The former you thrust out; the other went away by himself.'"
God is in control, He's not just in charge. He's the Sovereign Potentate, and not simply a heavenly "president." And as Sovereign Potentate He promises: "Give and it will be given to you" - even if the economy takes a down swing.
In the service of Christ, Pastor
Dr. Jeffrey F. Evans