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Grace To Enable

Rich man and Lazarus

YOU HAVE THE GRACE TO ENABLE

I’d like to take a moment to speak with you about a unique gift that God has given to some people and how the LORD purposed that gift. What is the gift that I speak of? Its’ the gift of “The Grace To Be An Enabler” or “The Grace To Enable.” I must clarify to you that such a gift can bring much joy, much fulfillment and much in terms of Godly rewards and riches in heavenly places or likewise such a gift if held close and not released into action can bring destruction, sorrow upon sorrows and ultimately the just recompense of a God who loves justice and who loves mercy.

Late last night I was meditating upon my lot, having had what I considered to be substantial resources at one point in my own life and having heard from the Lord Isaiah 58 challenge to expend oneself and one’s resources on behalf of the poor, the sick, the blind, the needy, the orphan, the widow and in my case the native pastors who serve in the world’s hardest places.


 

And if you pour out that with which you sustain your own life for the hungry and satisfy the need of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness, and your obscurity and gloom become like the noonday.

 

As I meditated upon these things the Holy Spirit prompted me concerning “The Rich Man And Lazarus” and He invited me to look deeper into that parable. I was led to the book of Luke where we find Luke’s account in chapter 16 in verses 9-31. As you may know Luke, the disciple to become Apostle, was commonly know to have been a medical doctor of his day. What we see in Luke’s writings is that he was a very detail oriented person. I can personally identify with that having worked in inventory control and purchasing where one rule prevails concerning order and structure. The rule says this, “Everything has a place and everything belongs in its’ place. I am sure that the Rich man in this story considered that he was smugly set in his place as was Lazarus in his place, his lot in life.

The next thing that Holy Spirit taught me was that there is an extreme likelihood that both the Rich Man and Lazarus were Jews. While on the surface this may seem to not be of great importance but it is intricately important on so many levels. As it is likely that they were both Jews we can draw from this parallels for our times concerning “The Grace To Enable.” I will share some of those parallels with you below but I want to keep this writing relatively short so that you don’t turn from it, but rather receive it richly to dwell in you and cause you to consider your own walk in life and your own “Grace To Enable.”

The Bible is filled with many passages about the Rich and the Poor and this morning I read so many of those passages leading all the way through the Old Testament to the New Testament and the Book of Luke chapter 16. I will provide those reference verses below so that you can read them after completing this devotional.

Psalm 39:6, Psalm 52:6-8, Proverbs 13:7, Proverbs 13:8, Proverbs 14:20, Proverbs 18:11, Proverbs 18:23, Proverbs 19:1, Proverbs 28:6, Proverbs 28:11, Proverbs 28:20, Ecclesiastes 5:12, Ecclesiastes 5:19, Ecclesiastes 6:2, Isaiah 53:9, Matthew 19:23, Matthew 19:24, Mark 12:40-44, Luke 12:16-25, Luke 16:12…

 

rich man and lazarus1

All of that brings us squarely to here…The Rich Man and Lazarus… Read the detailed account from Luke then watch the  video below the Bible Text and then we will wrap up with the parallels thoughts to apply to our own lives.


 

Luke 16:9-31 Amplified Bible (AMP)

9 And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon ([a]deceitful riches, money, possessions), so that when it fails, they [those you have favored] may receive and welcome you into the everlasting habitations (dwellings).

10 He who is faithful in a very little [thing] is faithful also in much, and he who is dishonest and unjust in a very little [thing] is dishonest and unjust also in much.

11 Therefore if you have not been faithful in the [case of] unrighteous mammon ([b]deceitful riches, money, possessions), who will entrust to you the true riches?

12 And if you have not proved faithful in that which belongs to another [whether God or man], who will give you that which is your own [that is, [c]the true riches]?

13 No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, or [d]anything in which you trust and on which you rely).

14 Now the Pharisees, who were covetous and lovers of money, heard all these things [taken together], and they began to sneer at and ridicule and scoff at Him.

15 But He said to them, You are the ones who declare yourselves just and upright before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestable and abhorrent (an abomination) in the sight of God.

16 Until John came, there were the Law and the Prophets; since then the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone strives violently to go in [would force his [e]own way rather than God’s way into it].

17 Yet it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to fail and become void.

18 Whoever divorces (dismisses and repudiates) his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.

19 There was a certain rich man who [habitually] clothed himself in purple and fine linen and [f]reveled and feasted and made merry in splendor every day.

20 And at his gate there [g]was [carelessly] dropped down and left a certain [h]utterly destitute man named Lazarus, [reduced to begging alms and] covered with [[i]ulcerated] sores.

21 He [eagerly] desired to be satisfied with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover, the dogs even came and licked his sores.

22 And it occurred that the man [reduced to] begging died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.

23 And in Hades (the realm of the dead), being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 And he cried out and said, Father Abraham, have pity and mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.

25 But Abraham said, Child, remember that you in your lifetime fully received [what is due you in] comforts and delights, and Lazarus in like manner the discomforts and distresses; but now he is comforted here and you are in anguish.

26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who want to pass from this [place] to you may not be able, and no one may pass from there to us.

27 And [the man] said, Then, father, I beseech you to send him to my father’s house—

28 For I have five brothers—so that he may give [solemn] testimony and warn them, lest they too come into this place of torment.

29 But Abraham said, They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear and listen to them.

30 But he answered, No, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent ([j]change their minds for the better and heartily amend their ways, with abhorrence of their past sins).

31 He said to him, If they do not hear and listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded and convinced and believe [even] if someone should rise from the dead.


 


PARALLELS FOR US TO CONSIDER IN OUR DAY AND IN OUR LIVES:

  1. The likelihood that both the Rich Man and Lazarus were both Jews brings up the consideration of how Christians should be compassionate to one another. If God has enabled you to posses riches on the earth then you have been given enabling grace to do good works that can bring glory to God. When you withhold resources even when you see a fellow Christian in need then for such there will be an answer required. What could have been a joy and an honor to you and glory to God can become a perplexing eternal problem for you.
  2. The likelihood that both the Rich Man and Lazarus were members at the same place of worship is a distinct possibility. This brings up the question of how you react to needs that are evident in your local church. If God has given you enabling grace by virtue of placing vast resources at your command then you also have been given a very high level of eternal accountability for those resources and in particular to how you served the Bride of Christ, His Holy Church. It is quite possible that the Rich Man and Lazarus were at the same House of Worship (Synagogue) yet vastly separated by greed, lack of compassion (love in action) and social rank.
  3. The likelihood that both the Rich Man and Lazarus lived within proximity of each other is a high probability yet their circumstances were vastly different. There is a need for Christian people who have wealth to understand, comprehend and to embrace the mission of becoming “The Enabler” that God has given to them. When you treat a brother in Christ as someone who is less, or someone who is bothering you because he desires a crumb from your table then you disdain the Lord Himself. This hold particularly true in regard to the native pastors and those who serve them who have sacrificially given their lives over to the call of God. There are so many who serve the Lord in great need and at times in great lack because the Enablers continue to build bigger and bigger barns with which to fill that which they can never take with them and that which moth and rust will separate from them in this live and which eternity will separate from them in the next life.
  4. The likelihood that both the Rich Man and Lazarus were well know is plausible yet each was well known for something different. No one serving the Lord should desire to be seen as a beggar or someone just waiting under some rich man’s table to catch hold of any morsel that may fall. No son of God should be subjected to begging for resources with which to do the works of God. Those who serve the Lord in full time ministry are not to be made to beg. Those who have been granted the responsibility as “Enablers” should joyfully embrace God’s role for them to help enable the spread of the Good News far and wide upon the planet before Christ return. Those who are “Enablers” should seek out those who are trustworthy sons of God and engage them to be “proxies” for them in carrying out the work of the Kingdom of God. Those who are Enablers should be searching high and low to find and to engage and to partner with ministries and ministry leaders who have high anointed callings and who carry themselves in humility subject to the leading and guidance of the Lord and to do His good will. Those who need the ministry resources should be sought out by those who have been granted the “Grace To Be Enablers.” The Apostle Paul related a WARNING by saying that the Apostles themselves were often found in the condition of Lazarus being cold, naked, hungry and without resources.

    1 Corinthians 4:9-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)

    For it seems to me that God has made an exhibit of us apostles, exposing us to view last [of all, like men in a triumphal procession who are] sentenced to death [and displayed at the end of the line]. For we have become a spectacle to the world [a show in the world’s amphitheater] with both men and angels [as spectators].

    10 We are [looked upon as] fools on account of Christ and for His sake, but you are [supposedly] so amazingly wise and prudent in Christ! We are weak, but you are [so very] strong! You are highly esteemed, but we are in disrepute and contempt!

    11 To this hour we have gone both hungry and thirsty; we [[a]habitually] wear but one undergarment [and shiver in the cold]; we are roughly knocked about and wander around homeless.

    12 And we still toil unto weariness [for our living], working hard with our own hands. When men revile us [[b]wound us with an accursed sting], we bless them. When we are persecuted, we take it patiently and endure it.

    13 When we are slandered and defamed, we [try to] answer softly and bring comfort. We have been made and are now the rubbish and filth of the world [the offscouring of all things, the scum of the earth].

    14 I do not write this to shame you, but to warn and counsel you as my beloved children.

    15 After all, though you should have ten thousand teachers (guides to direct you) in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the glad tidings (the Gospel).

    As the Apostle Paul wrote those very words he clarified that those words had a two fold purpose being to both WARN and to COUNSEL those who are supposed to be fulfilling their God given role as Enablers to those serving God in full time ministry. Take note that there are many good men of God who have substantial callings and are credible, reliable, engaged and serving at great sacrificial post, yet “no one lifts a finger to help them.” We read of this phrase, “no one lifted a finger to help them” on two occasions in the Bible. The first time was concerning “The Nobles” in the time of Nehemiah who refused to help build the walls or the temple of Jerusalem. The text says that “the nobles refused to lift a finger to help.” The second time that we find this phrase is in regard to “the high, proud and mighty” in their own eyes, Pharisees who heaped the requirements of the law on the Jews with all sorts of twist and added man made burdens but then refused to help the people serving God. If you are a “Noble” then you are also an “Enabler.” If you are a person with a high “religious office” overseeing “the Lord’s resources” then you are to be an “Enabler.” If you are a person with resources that exceed what you need to live “a good life” then you are to be an “Enabler.” If you are living in a First World, or a Second World nation, or you are among the rich and elite of a Third world nation then you are called to be an “Enabler.” If you claim to serve Christ and to follow Him then you are to be an “Enabler.”

    I am always in amazement as I read another account of “Enablers” in the Book of Luke where it chronicles the fact that “women” were “Enablers” of the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. It always floors me that they are mentioned by name and that Luke even says what they did. It amazes me that He who could multiply fish and loaves, heal the blind, raise the dead, walk on water, and cast out demons would be found with a ministry supported in earthly finances by a group of women “Enablers.”

    Luke 8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

    Soon afterward, [Jesus] went on through towns and villages, preaching and bringing the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God. And the Twelve [apostles] were with Him,

    And also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had been expelled;

    And Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager; and Susanna; and many others, who ministered to and provided for [a]Him and them out of their property and personal belongings.

     

    Did you see that? Does that not astound you? It is astounding but in reality is should be the normal model of Christian ministry support. Fortunately for ministries God made women with compassion (love in action). Women out support the work of ministry far more readily and at far more substance often than men do. Herein is the WARNING and the COUNSEL to each of you who has been given the Grace to be Enablers. Lazarus was given the Grace to be an Enabler but he choose to spend it all on himself, his lifestyle, his friends, his family and his own kingdom instead of coming to know and to embrace that it is God who makes one rich and it is God who creates “Enablers”, yet it is men and women who willfully choose to toss crumbs to the sons of God while they lounge about in mansions and take expensive trips too and fro upon the earth. You can have wealth and still be pleasing to God and still fulfill His God Purpose for your life as an Enabler if you will just step into the blessed role of an Enabler who joyfully gives, bountifully sows, richly blesses the needy, the sick, the orphans, the widows, the native pastors, those called into full-time apostolic ministries so that they can do the work of ministry to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth and to serve the needy fulfilling Isaiah 58 and raising up great grace, great waves of salvation, great echoes of glory to the Lord and the revival in the hearts of lost men and women around the world.

    FINAL WARNING AND COUNSEL:

    BE THE ENABLER THAT GOD HAS PURPOSED, CALLED, PREPARED, EQUIPPED AND RESOURCED YOU TO BE UPON THE FACE OF THE EARTH! THERE WILL NOT BE A SECOND CHANCE, A SECOND LIFE, OR A SECOND OPPORTUNITY TO WALK IN THIS SPECIAL GRACE FROM GOD.

BE THE ENABLER GOD CALLED YOU TO BE!

 

Show Some Love
Show Some Love