|Volume 24 Number 5 May 2022
Many of us “old timers” grew up with a saying of “waste not, want not.” We were taught that if we took care of our resources (even though they might have been meager), we would always have enough to get by. As youngsters, we didn’t have all the available and easy-to-get merchandise that is available today. Nowadays, we may waste more in just a few days than we may have had during a whole month in days gone by. Times are different. The feeling of prosperity and plenty has caused us to not be nearly as careful to protect our means as we were a few years ago. We sorely need to remember and apply the “waste not, want not” mentality.
From the beginning, God gave man work to do to keep him busy and to protect his God-given livelihood. “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it” (Genesis 2:15 NKJV). Had Adam not kept (that is cared for) the Garden and what it was to produce to provide life, he would not have had the means of survival that God had planned for him. God did not create a mass of disarray for “…God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good…” (Genesis 1:31). All of God’s creation was made for a purpose and was orderly and productive. He intended for mankind to take care of it, and that still applies today.
We are so very fortunate and blessed to live in this country [USA]. We may want things we don’t have, but most of us have more than we need. Sure, there are those who, for different reasons, are not faring well, but the rest of us live in what many in the world would consider to be true prosperity. It’s up to each of us to take care of what we have and guard against wasting, for we could find ourselves living somewhere in the world where these blessings are not as readily available.
Recently, there was a documentary on TV of a foreign country where people were waiting at the landfill for trucks to come and dump refuse so they could sift through it and find food to keep them alive. It was so disturbing to see some of them pulling food out of the rubbish and eating it right on the spot without a thought of from where it came or how contaminated it might be. Little children were being fed there. It was food, and they were hungry.
A good Bible example to reinforce teaching about taking care of what we have is found in Luke 16. “There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward’… If you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?’” (Luke 16:1-2, 11). From this, we see that we are not to waste whatever is entrusted to us, but we are to care for what we have. In doing so, we can reap “true riches” that are blessings from God’s hand.
Reuel Lemmons wrote a book entitled, Abundant Living, in which a chapter is devoted to “God’s Law of Disuse.” He wrote:
I read of a woman who bought one of the first Cadillacs that came from the factory. Her family became engaged in lawsuits, and she kept the Cadillac locked up for 30 years. When she died, her family opened the garage and planned to sell that shiny new Cadillac. But the tires had fallen off and the upholstery was moth-eaten. Someone finally bought it for a few dollars, but when he went to take possession of it, he found his new property to be worthless junk and sold it to a junk dealer for a few cents a pound. This is the way God’s natural law works: a thing you do not use and care for, God takes away from you.
“Waste not, want not” still works today. Take care of whatever it is with which God has blessed you. Be grateful and share your blessings; God will care for you.
Lemmons, Reuel G. Abundant Living. Walla Walla, Washington: Old Paths Book Club, 1950.
A Mouse in a Bucket of Cheese
I don’t know about you, but I imagine it’s hard to find a happier creature on earth than a mouse in a bucket of cheese! Can you imagine the contentment, the abundance and peace a hungry mouse would experience in a case like this? Sure, the cheese would get eaten and the poor mouse would go hungry again, but what a feast of blessings for our furry friend.
Like many people, I have experienced that kind of happiness. The blessings I received, however, were of the longer-lasting sort, the everlasting sort, and when I found the way to that happy state, all I wanted to do was share that happiness with others.
In Psalm 1:1, David told about blessedness, but not just any kind. Biblical blessedness is a supreme kind of happiness. It is an incomparable joy – the joy of knowing, with confidence, that you are held joyfully in the heart of our Creator. All my life, I was hungry for the truth. I thirsted for spiritual peace and understanding. I searched many philosophies and found nothing except pure unaltered Christianity that made any sense. I searched different faith groups that claimed to be Christians but found them lacking in love and obedience to the laws of Christ. He said if we loved Him, we would obey Him. John 14:15 is so simple that anyone being honest with himself can understand it!
In Romans 3:23, we read that “all have sinned.” Therefore, we need a Savior because our sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). Yet, He provided us a way to be with Him. In Isaiah 1:18-19, the prophet proclaimed the Word of the Lord, “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the Lord, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land’” (NKJV). Notice the condition in verse 19, “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land.”
In John 3:16, we read that God loved the whole of humanity and, through the gift of His Son, He offers forgiveness for any who obey His Anointed One (Luke 15:5-7). The condition is obedience. Jesus said that any who believe and are baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16). What our Redeemer brings is the greatest gift in all of eternity. No one else – not Buddha, Muhammad, Marx or Mao – comes even close. Jesus offers wonderful things, one of which is the forgiveness of sins, which will save us from hell (Luke 19:10 and Roman 6:23). He said He would quench my thirst and satisfy my hunger, not just for now, but for always (John 6:35). The Lord even offers to give me a home with Him, where the children of God will live forever. In fact, He has prepared it for us (John 14:3). The Lord Jesus came to rescue you and me from our sins with all their guilt and uncertainties (Luke 19:10). He came to give us a life worth living (John 10:10) and something to which to look forward after we leave this world (Revelation 2:10).
In addition to all of this, Jesus gives us a mission to share this good news of the Gospel with everyone we can (Mark 16:15). So, He provides forgiveness of sins, an eternal life and a purposeful life filled with joyful and honorable service. This purposeful life gives a reason for our existence and a mission from Him that is unequaled in history (John 15:11).
When I heard this, I thought, “What an amazing offer!” It did not take me long at all to accept it! I decided to be baptized faster than a hot knife goes through butter! Get me clean, Lord, cleansed from sin and blessed by God right now! I was asked if I wanted to come back to the church building when the water was warm. I said to the preacher, “No, sir! I might not have tomorrow!” I was ready to get right with God, freezing-cold water or not! I went under in my sin and came up a saint of God! For all these reasons and more, I was happy as a mouse in a bucket of cheese!