Gilt Ridden

By Bonnie Saul Wilks
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Posted in Zealous Magazine on March 1, 2015

“Remember, you are rich.” This imperative was not a braggadocios claim; it was a warning. When I first heard it, I was preparing for a short-term trip to Eastern Europe. My teacher meant, “You are blessed; develop a sensitive heart and share your wealth.”

I did not consider myself rich; but now that I have traveled extensively to underdeveloped countries and witnessed dire poverty both spiritual and physical, I understand my responsibility to share that which God has entrusted to me.

One warning God gave the Jewish people was not against having wealth, but the attitude that may arise from affluence. “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God…Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied…then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God…” (Deuteronomy 8: 11:15).

We are a gilt-ridden society but no guilt should be involved — and no pride in ourselves or against God. Giving develops sensitivity to the Father’s heart for the nations. Nehemiah 8:10 explains how to share our blessings: “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared…”

I encourage you to take the challenge. Test the Lord. Then rid yourself of some of your gilt, and see if He will give back to you as promised, “pressed down, shaken together and running over” (Luke 6:38).

Below is a short testimony of an elderly couple that has contributed to the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute faithfully for the past 18 years. Married for 60 years and believers for 70, they became some of our first givers! Per their request, their names have been withheld.

My wife and I incurred some debt over the years because of our limited income. Although we had been paying it down, we still had credit card debt of $4,200. I asked the Lord for help so as not to leave any financial burden for my children.

We host a Bible study for the residents in our apartments. Tim, owner of the complex, encourages us in this service. Recently he asked if he could help us, inquiring if we had personal financial debt.

I answered $4,200. Amazingly, he wrote a check for that amount! I paid the debt immediately. We have faithfully given our tithes and to the Jewish people by giving to the MJBI for years. When we obey, God is faithful.