You can watch the video from yesterday here.
GIVE AND GET OUT
Frank awoke from his dream knowing he had to do something – he hoped to give Re some money and find a benefit to donate some to as well, just enough to assuage his guilt. But what he found was a step that would take him outside of his comfort zone in a big way. And so it is with you and me. Poverty, sickness, pain – our natural reaction to these things is a mixture of pity a desire to separate ourselves from it. Just like Frank we decide that we will “give and get out”. Write a check and get back to our comfort zone.
But as we have been talking about – it is our hearts, not just our money, that God is after. For Frank, the “good sheep”, as we talked about in the first film, is not a hastily written check. Before Frank knows it, he has gone from a distant comfortable giver, to a reluctant servant.
2 Corinthians 8:8-9
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
“Through his poverty.” Do we want to align ourselves with the heart of God? A key is there in 2 Corinthians 8.
Re understood this. That’s why he gave his bonus from Frank to the soup kitchen. He knew the joyous combination of giving and serving that Frank was about to discover.
So how do we break through?
How do we engage with the pain and the poverty – become poor – when all we see is a vast, faceless need? We start seeing with the eyes of God.
“As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me”
When the woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus’s garment and was healed, Jesus said, “who touched me?” Amid a vast, jostling crowd, Jesus focused on one person that was seeking help.When Frank recognized a man from his dream he was able to put a face on the poverty around him. He went from seeing “the poor” to seeing people. This is a key to our becoming poor in spirit. When we are willing to humble ourselves and serve – just as Frank bent down top wipe off the man’s shoe – we take that next step on our journey of generous living. We remove our own pride from the equation and see with the eyes of God.
This becomes harder as we get older – you notice how easy it was for Megan? She dove right in! But Frank, older and “wiser”, didn’t see the people yet, he only saw the discomfort.
Re says something very interesting toward the end when Frank thanks Re for handing him the spoon. Did you catch it? He corrects Frank, saying, “Ladle. A spoon is for feeding yourself, a ladle is for serving others.”
And so it is with generous living. So often we have a spoon mentality. “How does this affect me?” Christ shows us the ladle mentality very clearly:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!
Christ emptied himself – ladled himself out for us. He literally dies for us. Our job is to die to self daily. To humble ourselves like Frank learned and serve one another.
So where are you? Take some time this week to “compare yourself with the earnestness of others.”
An important thing to note: We may think this series is all about Frank, but have you noticed that there are several journeys interwoven here? Evan learned about the importance of giving God our “best sheep” in the first film, and now Megan is experiencing the joy that comes from serving others. Don’t think that you are on this journey alone. You affect others’ journeys, just as their journeys affect yours.