"But to do good and to communicate forget not for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Heb. 13:16).
Christians mean givers. Christianity is the basis for all the good deeds and acts that exist in the world to-day. Jesus had said that those who are compassionate and are loving should love others as He did. A lawyer asked Jesus who his neighbor was (Luke. 10 : 29). Jesus replied that a Jew was traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho. He was attacked by thieves, who took away his belongings and left him wounded on the road. A priest who chanced to pass that way, looked at him and passed by on the other side. Next came a Levite who also passed him on the other side. But when a Samaritan came that way and saw the pitiable plight of the Jew, he took compassion on him, bound up his wounds pouring in oil and wine, put him on his donkey, took him to an inn and took great care of him. Jesus asked the lawyer who the neighbor of the traveler was? The lawyer meekly answered that the Samaritan who helped him was his neighbor. Jesus advised the lawyer to do to his neighbor what the Samaritan did to the Jewish traveler. In those days Jews considered Samaritans their inferiors in caste and did not treat them as their equals. The fanatic Jews were calling Jesus a Samaritan and a mad person (John. 8:48). Will not those mad men who talked ill of even Jesus as a Person of low caste, talk ill of even righteous persons? The Samaritan helped the Jew when he was in danger. This is love.
People set up charitable organizations in this world to help their own class of people. But Christianity teaches that one who needs help should certainly be helped and terms this quality as love.
Poverty is the severest tormentor of man' kind. A poor man is not respected by others and his words do not carry any weight. The poor man's wisdom is despised in this world (Eccl. 9:15,16). He thinks himself to be a small and unworthy person. A life expecting help of others always is miserable. A person who is helping a poor man to stand on his own legs, teaching him self-respect and teaching him to think and act independently is the real man. You will not be without poor man among you and you will not harden your heart nor shut your hand to your poor brothers (Deut. 15: 7-11).
Without helping a brother or sister, who is without food or proper clothing, advising people to live in happiness and peace is the greatest fraud on the people. Give the needy food and clothing (James. 2 ; 15,16). even if he is your enemy when you know that he is hungry and thirsty give him food and water (Rom. 12: 20,21; II King 6 : 8-23).
We see several beggars around us. We see them in lanes, streets and public places. They even come to our door steps and beg for food. There are professional beggars in this world. There are thieves. There are also persons who turn beggars under inevitable circumstances. Whoever they are, when they come to our house and beg, we should not scold them. We should not say, "You have good limbs, why cannot you do some work, say work in a hotel and earn". But we should give him food or money in his need. When we do not have anything to offer, we can at least console him. If we are prayerful we may get the leading of God is such matters and circumstances. We should be charitable as commanded by the Holy Spirit. We should never use harsh words against them. You either give beggars food or money, or if you have nothing to offer, at least give them good advice. Some might have entertained angels without knowing them (Heb.13:1,2). O! he is amassing wealth by begging. He misuses the money he is given by smoking and gambling. He goes to cinema.
Such thoughts should not cross you mind. Who appointed you as his judge? If we think along in these lines, we cannot help anybody. Regarding this, Jesus has said, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell all that you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then you can follow me" (Matt. 19: 21). Sell what you have and give to the poor. Fill your coffers in heaven that never grow old and never decrease. There neither a thief approaches nor the moths corrupt the treasure. Where the treasure is there your heart will be (Luke. 12: 33,34) said Christ. He never asked you to give alms only when you come across deserving beggars. We may be poor but we are not penniless. If may not always be possible for one man to lift a person from his afflictions. But several of us may join together to do this good service. We may fulfill it diligently and perfectly. Let us help the poor, the orphans, the sickly and helpless widows. Doing such good deeds and keeping ourselves undefiled before God are pure religion for God, our Father (James. 1 : 27)
TITHE AND OFFERINGS:
For you to learn to keep yourselves in constant fear of God, offer your tithe correctly. Now some people babble about tithe saying this is the teaching of Old Testament and Jesus has made offer of tithe unnecessary by His supreme sacrifice on the cross. A speaker has asked, "Where is the command to give tithe in the New Testament?" This kind of wrong preaching is made among the Christians by preachers who are not sent by God. Some false preachers setting covetous eye on the tithe mislead the people to disobey the commandments of God and to live without fear of God - all for the sake of money.
In order to prevent the growth of Christianity, the enemies of Christ advise people not to give tithe to the church and not to give offertories; but to give money to them promising that they would conduct very special prayers for them. The believers should offer their tithes and offertories to the Pastor of the church. Somebody may be publishing some magazine and he may be advising people to send tithe to him. Do not believe such tricksters. Give your offertories only to the Pastor, who prays for you and who gives you bread and wine in the church (Gene. 14: 18-20; Gala 6 : 6; Mal 3 : 10). Some may threaten you saying that the ministry is commenced upon your support and curse may descend on you, if you do not pay. Do not pay him anything. Did he commence the ministry after consulting you? He does not believe in God. He believed only men and started the ministry to deceive people. You need not fear him Moreover if you want to contribute to another ministry, give it from your money after paying tithe to the church. Do not divide the tithe and give it to several ministries. The tithe belongs to God and is holy to Him. It should go to the priest (Num. 18: 20,21,24,28). It is ordained that he who preaches gospel should live by the gospel (1Cor. 9 : 14). You should live is fear of God and for that you should always offer tithe in everything.
A person who does not offer tithe is not at all a believer. A person who does not offer tithe correctly will have no fear of God. Some are in the habit of offering tithe correctly when income is small, but when it increases, they may not offer tithe correctly. This irregularity leads to need and want and fall of many from faith. Therefore God does not like to give them more. Though some are not saved, they offer tithe correctly fearing God and such people are therefore saved some day. The scriptures say. "Give and you shall be given" (Luke. 6: 38). People who follow this are blessed abundantly by God. You seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you (Matt. 6 : 33). Their treasures in heaven are protected. Charity is the treasure in heaven which is filled. By offering tithe and offertories, the believers express their gratitude for having been saved (II Cor. 9 : 13). Some people offering tithe and other offertories correctly, become arrogant on account of this and slight the elders and their families and think ill of them. This also is a kind of curse on them. You are offering offertory only to God. All the offertories and oblations collected in the church belong to the priests (Num. 18: 8-19). Among the children of Israel, Levi and his children had no inheritance. They were collected as gift for the Lord. God gave the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance (Num. 18: 20,21,24; Deut. 18 : 1-8; Jos. 13: 14,33). Let them eat and drink and be strong (IChr 12 : 26-28; IIChr. 26 : 16-20). You need not worry about it. God judges them ultimately.
The ministers should not earn wealth for themselves. They should do every thing for the sake of God and the church. They should not do anything for themselves. They should not misuse the offertories. They should not share the offertories among their unsaved relatives (Eze. 48: 16). Even their parents, unmarried sisters, brothers, widowed sisters, whom the elders are duty bound to support, should be allowed to live their own lives, provided they have other persons to support them or means to live independent of the ministers. Let us not entertain the idea that the elder should do our bidding and he should not point out our wrongs because we give tithe and offertories to him. You should obey justly in accordance with scriptures. Fear your God. Do everything with love and out of love. God will bless you.
".....all the widows stood by him weeping, and showing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them" - Acts. 9 : 39.
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