September 2, 2012

It was many centuries ago in a remote village in India. Word began to spread that something was about to happen that no one had seen in their lifetime — the prince was coming to visit their forgotten little village.

Everyone was excited but no one was more excited than the village beggar. Every day he eked out another day by sitting by the road with his little cup, hoping to get enough money to buy the rice to live one more day. He actually had two cups one for collecting money and one for his few grains of rice. But now the prince was coming – the wealthy prince! When the prince finally arrived, the beggar mustered his most impassioned appeal – Alms! Alms for the poor! And the prince stopped. The beggar’s heart was pounding furiously.

Give me your cup of rice.

That was all the prince said. The beggar slumped down in disbelief. Here was the wealthiest man in the land, asking for his lousy little cup of rice.

The beggar was about to refuse, but instead he reached in and he put three grains of rice in the prince’s hand. The prince turned to his servant and said, Bring me the bag of gold. The beggar could hardly contain himself as he eagerly stretched out his empty collection cup. The prince reached into his bag and placed three grains of gold in the beggar’s cup. And then he disappeared, never to return but leaving the beggar to wonder for the rest of his life . . . “what would have happened if I had given him my whole cup of rice”

Do you know why certain people remain poor? Because they are a people of small dreams and little visions. I have met rich people who are insensitive and greedy. Their riches is stuck on the things of this earth and it’s a sad thing to see them unable to use money but are being used by it.

This we understand. While these so-called rich people may be endowed with the material things of this world in all reality they are indeed poor.

But you know what breaks my heart?

It’s when I see poor people who are so self-absorbed – wallowing in self-pity and thinking that the world owes them a living and while we lament the fact that they may not have the convenience of the well-to-do, what I cannot understand is that they are greedy too.

Now some people would say they have to be greedy because of self-preservation. They have very little and that’s why they are holding on to it tightly.

Yet I have known poor people who are charitable and generous. They may not have the convenience of the wealthy too but they carry joy and peace in their hearts. And I bet you that given time, these people will progress in life because they have understood the law of investment. When you give you receive. When you hold back you are deprived. Greatness of character is never dependent on your tax bracket; it is dependent on the largeness of your heart.

The same thing with the Christian life.

Only those who know how to give it all, invest all of them to the Living God would ever experience the fullness of life.

Those who hold back, unable to let go will never experience God’s fullness of Purpose in their lives.

I have seen ministers who never progress. A closer look at it would indicate that they have never given their all.

I have seen Christians who live defeated lives. A closer look at them would reveal that they tend to compromise on their stand.

Coming to God like a beggar is the picture of the part of Scriptures that says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for they shall inherit the kingdom of heave,” But when God asks the beggars – meaning you and me – to hand over to Him our little cup of rice. Are we willing or not?

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