Walking in a Perfect Way – Alms Giving (Outline)
Walking in a perfect way is made possible through the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, who have been born again into the family of God and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God, we have a new nature that longs to be in the will of God. We cling to, yield to, embrace, and obey every Word of God as servants of righteousness who work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, bearing fruits of the Holy Spirit. Walking in the light of the Lord is walking in the truth of His Word. One aspect of walking in a perfect way is in the giving of alms to the poor.
Matthew 6:1 – 4 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
• Money, clothes, food, and other things given to poor people (Websters)
• Any thing given gratuitously to relieve the poor, as money, food, or clothing, otherwise called charity (PBSS)
• Having little money or few possessions : not having enough money for the basic things that people need to live properly: having a very small amount of something: not good in quality or condition (Websters)
• Wholly destitute of property, or not having property sufficient for a comfortable subsistence; needy (PBSS)
What is our responsibility to the poor as it relates to the will of God?
Lev. 19:10 Lev. 23:22 Deut. 15:7 – 11 Deut. 24:14,15 Psalms 41:1
2 Samuel 12 Psalms 34:6 Psalms 41:1 Psalms 69:33 Psalms 109:31
Prov. 14:21, 31 Prov. 17:5 Prov. 19:17 Prov. 21:13 Prov. 28:27
Prov. 29:7 Isa. 41:17 Matt. 19:21 Luke 14:12-24 Luke 19:1-10
1 Cor. 13:3 Gal. 2:10 James 2:1-9
What is clear from these passages of Scripture is that God has made provision for the poor. The poor should not be neglected or taken advantage of in life. In fact, it is the poor who are in a unique position to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Examples of Giving
1. Genesis 24 – Abraham seeks a wife for his son Isaac
2. John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
a. Matthew 11:5 “…the poor have the gospel preached to them.
b. Luke 4:18,19 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. (Ref. to Isaiah 61)
c. 2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
3. Acts 3:1 – 18 Peter and John minister to the lame man at the temple
a. Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.
Giving to the poor is an aspect in bearing fruit of the Holy Spirit. For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Each of the fruits of the Spirit is involved in giving alms to the poor.
In giving alms, the Lord Jesus Christ proclaims that we should not let our left hand know what our right hand is doing. In that reality, we give freely without any expectancy of return, and our giving is not given in such a way as to draw attention to ourselves. It really points to the admonition in having a pure heart, which comes with much blessing of the Lord.
How do we accomplish this admonition?
1. Be sensitive to being led of the Holy Spirit in identifying opportunities to give
a. Money, clothes, food, time, service, sharing the Gospel (1 John 3:17)
2. Walk in obedience when being prompted to give by following through
a. Philippians 2:12 “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
3. Be cheerful, humble, and generous in giving – God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:6 – 8)
4. Give freely without expecting anything in return and with simplicity (Rom. 12:8)
a. Giving shouldn’t be complicated
b. Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
5. Know that our treasure is in heaven (Matt. 6:19 – 21)
a. Phil. 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.