Whose Your Hero? George Mueller or Joel Osteen?

 

 

There’s nothing to eat. Set the table. “The children are dressed and ready for school. But there is no food for them to eat,” the house mother of the orphanage informed George Mueller. George asked her to take the 300 children into the dining room and have them sit at the tables. He thanked God for the food and waited. George knew God would provide food for the children as he always did.

Dinner is served. Within minutes, a baker knocked on the door. “Mr. Mueller,” he said, “last night I could not sleep. Somehow I knew that you would need bread this morning. I got up and baked three batches for you. I will bring it in.”

Soon, there was another knock at the door. It was the milkman. His cart had broken down in front of the orphanage. The milk would spoil by the time the wheel was fixed. He asked George if he could use some free milk. George smiled as the milkman brought in ten large cans of milk. It was just enough for the 300 thirsty children.

Whose your hero? George Mueller’s trust in God makes him a hero to many. Joel Osteen fills an arena  teaching that God doesn’t want you poor. To many he’s a hero.  Is there a balance? Dave Ramsey has helped thousands get out of debt and set aside “rainy day” funds. He is a hero to many. Do these “heroes” present conflicting models?

Irresponsible Jesus. To Ramsey and Osteen wouldn’t Mueller be irresponsible for running an orphanage without sufficient funding? In fact, wouldn’t Jesus be irresponsible for having no place to lay his head? At what point are your riches causing you problems with getting into heaven?

Jesus said it was near impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom. Why? My thoughts.

  1. It’s great to save for a rainy day, but isn’t it always raining somewhere? How much savings is right when millions are dying of starvation? How much should a church have in the bank when employees are working for slave wages? Should members of the congregation do more than tithe, but that rule doesn’t apply to the church?

2. Is there ever enough in the bank? Many are stockpiling for an eventual disaster. How much water and food is enough? Enough for a week, a month, a year? Enough for you and the wife, your entire family, your extended family? all your friends? Everyone in your church? How much savings is enough?

What about guys like Joseph? Joseph became a hero to Egypt because he filled the store houses in times of plenty, but didn’t God specifically tell him to do that. No one in Egypt starved because of his plan. If God tells you to do something, I suggest  you do it.

I know these are tough questions. For me, George Mueller is my hero, not Osteen, not even Ramsey. I’d rather trust Jesus than the Bank of America. I’d rather store up treasure in heaven than at Capital One. I guess I will never be rich, at least not on this planet.

The Faith Sweet Spot. When I delivered Thanksgiving bags on Saturday I didn’t see irresponsible folks. I saw peaceful people trusting Jesus and watching him perform miracles in their lives. They did the best with what they had and trusted Jesus for the rest. It’s a good thing to be in that sweet spot where responsible living and trust in Jesus meet. May we all find it in our lives no matter who our heroes are.

 

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