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-- Page Two "Learning To Excel In Giving."
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The Disabled Are Perfect 
Targets Of Our Love 

SOME DISABLED PERSONS BARELY SURVIVE on Social Security checks of as little as $500. That's a poverty income in this culture. When a leaky roof demands their attention, or a wheel chair ramp needs to be built, they must 'steal' from another necessity. There are individuals in every city who need Good Samaritan help. 

 

It is appropriate for churches and individuals to allocate funds to meet these human needs. Spending money in this way is a tangible form of loving one's neighbor-a practice that is firmly rooted in scripture. Even more critical are the needs of disabled persons who have not yet been approved to receive Social Security assistance. They are left in limbo for many weeks with no income. 

 

If You Love Those Who Love You, What Credit Is That To You?

Luke 6:32-36 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even `sinners' lend to `sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (NIV)

 

Concerning Adherence To Rituals While Denying The Needy

Luke 11:41 But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. (In reference to the practice of ceremonial cleansing).

 

Obedience Not Just Hearing

Romans 2:13   For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.

 

Treasure In Heaven

Luke 12:32-34 32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Having A Good Meal

Luke 14:12-14 12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

 

Do This, Then Come Follow Me

Luke 18:22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." [In another passage Jesus spoke this message to a general audience of followers too.]

 

In The Presence of Jesus
This Greedy Man Became Generous With The Poor

Luke 19:5-10 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a `sinner.'" But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

 

Do This And You Shall Live

Luke. 10:27-28 He answered: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

 

The Ancient Church Practiced Sharing With The Poor

It's the right thing to do today too.

Acts 2:45-47 Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

 

Acts 4:34-35 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

 

Prior To His Conversion, Cornelius
Gave Generously To The Needy, and God noticed!

Acts 10:1-4 1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. 3 One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, "Cornelius!" Cornelius stared at him in fear. "What is it, Lord?" he asked. The angel answered, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God."

 

Help The Weak

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: `It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"   See INHABITED BY GOD.

 

Excel In The Grace of Giving

2 Cor 8:7-8 But just as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-- see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.

 

2 Cor 8:12-13 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. Of course, I don't mean that  those who receive your gifts  should have an easy time of it at your expense, but you should divide with them. Right now you have plenty and can help them; then at some other time they can share with you when you need it.
In this way, each will have as much as he needs." 


At The Early Church Council:

All They [the Apostles] Asked was, "Remember The Poor."

Gal 2:8-10 For God, who was at work in the ministry of Peter as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles. James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

 

Work In Order To Have Something To Give The Needy

Eph 4:28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

 

In Church Encourage One Another In Doing Good Deeds

Heb. 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.

 

Heb 13:1-3 Keep on loving each other as brothers. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

 

Pure and Faultless Religion

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 

James 2:1-4 My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, "Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on the floor by my feet," have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

 

To Early Pastors Peter Wrote,
"Do Not Be Greedy For Money, But Serve. . . "

1 Peter 5:2-3 Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-- not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

 

John 3:16-18 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

 

1 John 4:19-21 19 We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

 

1 John 5:18 We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him.

 

Rev 3:17 You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

 

WE SHOULD DO
WHAT ?

Luke 3:10-11 10

10Then the crowd asked him, "Then what are we supposed to do?"  If you have two coats, give one away," he said. "Do the same with your food." MESSAGE BIBLE

 

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