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Most Generous - God or Gates?

After Abraham Lincoln became president, he was besieged by office seekers wanting appointments to various government jobs throughout the country. Once, confined to bed with typhoid fever, Lincoln declared to his secretary, "Bring on the office seekers; I now have something I can give everybody."  How would it feel to be able to give something to everybody? Bill Gates may come closer to knowing than most people ever will. An article posted on the internet at forbes.com, dated May 19, 2011, was entitled, "The World's Biggest Givers." The article revealed that Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, "is the most generous person on the planet in dollar terms." At that time Gates had gifted $28 billion to his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, making it the "preeminent philanthropic institution in the world." Another very rich man, Warren Buffet, described as Gates' "good friend," was a distant second in giving with a little under a third of Gates's $28 billion!

Well, "the world's biggest giver" and "the most generous person on the planet" are bold words. I can't speak for others, but I am pleased that these and other rich persons are giving away large chunks of their fortunes to help the general needs of mankind, whether for education or cancer research, etc. It is refreshing in a materialistic, money-loving world to know some people who have trainloads of money are seeking to do good things with it instead of just trying to fill up another train! But wait just a minute. If we include God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ in the discussion, the claim to "the world's biggest giver" and "the most generous person on the planet" was settled long before Bill Gates gave away $28 billion! Two thousand years ago Jesus stated, For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Bill Gates' gift may make him currently "the world's most generous person in dollar terms" and "the most generous person on the planet" in terms of giving money. But we need reminding from time to time that all the billions of dollars Gates gives away plus all the billions he still has can't do what John 3:16 says the Father gave His Son to do — prevent us from "perishing" because of sin and at the same time enable us to 'have everlasting life." I read somewhere a sentence about money that stuck in my mind like a hair sticks in biscuit. It said, "All the money in the world can't buy a single night's lodging in heaven or a single drop of water in hell." It's true, isn't it? You can't work a job that will pay you enough money or go to a bank that can lend you enough dollars to pay for even one of your sins! To pay the debt for our sins God had to empty the Bank of Heaven — and so we read these glorious words in 2 Corinthians 8:9 — "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. " Bill Gates is generous in dollar terms. But no amount of money compares to what God and His Son gave to provide for mankind's salvation. The world's biggest giver is not Bill Gates. That title belongs to God! "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15)

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ