Basil of Caesarea: Reward of Charitableness and Faithful Stewardship

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And [Jesus] said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12:15

“Why are you rich and another poor? Surely it is that you may win the reward of charitableness and faithful stewardship, and he the noble prize of patience? And yet you store up everything in the pockets of insatiable coveteousness and think you wrong no one when you are defrauding many. Who is the covetous man? One for whom plenty is not enough?”

Basil of Caesarea (330-379) in his homily “I Will Pull Down My Barns” 7.

In Basil’s sermon on Luke 12:13-21, he offers a brilliant reminder to all those blessed with more than enough: “Surely it is that you may win the reward of charitableness and faithful stewardship.”

Let’s look closely at those two ideas.

Firstly, the reward of charitableness is immediate blessing. When the rich extend gracious generosity to those in need, God sees. He blesses. He replenishes them for greater levels of giving. Think of this reward as refreshment.

But what hinders the pursuit of this reward? Covetousness, that is, thinking having plenty is not enough.

Secondly, faithful stewardship is a longer term gain. The rich are faithful when they use the Master’s resources in keeping with His desires. Helping others fits. To share rather than store up for yourself is faithful stewardship.

In real-time, I want to thank the people who responded yesterday and gave a gift. Hang with me.

At GTP we are working with some of the poorest people in difficult situations. And I concur with Basil that these people have won the “noble prize of patience”. But let’s not make them wait forever to be helped!

They are not looking for handouts that create dependencies. They want a hand up to build generous disciples in their context. Yesterday we needed 43 givers. Today the total is down to 30.

As I stated yesterday, at GTP we aim to receive a six-figure grant from a foundation who wants to help us grow our staff. But they want to see more growth in our support base.

We need 30 more new givers before 30 June 2022. Please pray for us to hit the goal.

Even a gift of $5 or $10 will make a difference to help us empower more national workers to build trust and grow local giving, click here to give today.

If you do, I can promise that the poor will be blessed and you will receive the reward of charitableness.