12, February 2012

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The Blessings of the Compassionate Heart (2)

‘He who gives to the poor will lack nothing…’ Proverbs 28:27 NIV

When it comes to charitable giving some people say, ‘That’s Old Testament doctrine. What’s the New Testament teaching?’ Glad you asked! Jesus launched His ministry saying: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach Good News to the poor…’ (Luke 4:18 NIV) And it didn’t stop with Jesus. The New Testament church carried out Christ’s mission of mercy on a daily basis. ‘All the believers…shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.’ As a result, they experienced ‘great joy.’ (Acts 2:44-46 NLT) You say, ‘Won’t that leave me financially strapped?’ No. Because of their compassion and generosity: ‘There was not a needy person among them…’ (Acts 4:34 NAS) The giver and receiver were both blessed. The rules of God’s Kingdom are: ‘Give freely and become more blessed; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.’ (Proverbs 11:24-25 NLT) It seems counter-intuitive, especially when you are struggling financially, but God promises that the generous will prosper. This isn’t about buying God’s favour. We don’t give in the selfish motive of expecting a reward (that’s not generosity, it’s greed!) instead we give out of faith. The Bible says, ‘The Lord blesses everyone who freely gives food to the poor.’ (Proverbs 22:9 CEV) ‘He who gives to the poor will lack nothing.’ Next time God nudges you to show compassion and give, do it. Then when you have a need, pray, ‘Lord, I have honoured You, now I believe You will honour me.’

SoulFood: Joshua 1, Acts 3:1-21

The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2012

12, February 2012

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