Why Give to the Poor?
How to Unlock Your Blessing in the Midst of COVID-19 (all Scriptures NKJV)
By Jorge Parrott
During this rapid onset of this coronavirus globally we, as followers of Jesus, believe the Word and Psalm 91 through every crisis the world faces. We have all heard many recommendations, some conflicting, on how to protect ourselves. We do need what our government and health officials recommend as we first line up everything with the plumbline of the Lord and the Word. Jesus is the Word. In this short article let us look at what the Bible says about giving to the poor to unlock his blessings and abundance in good times and bad.
Jesus did not come to earth to take your money and give it to those who do not have; He came to destroy the works of the devil.
“The Son of God appeared for this very reason, to destroy what the Devil had done.” 1 John 3:8 (NKJV)
Luke 12:15 “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness”.
Jesus answered the man who did not have but asked Jesus to take from his brother and give it to him. Covetousness can be a problem in both the poor and the rich and Jesus warns us against that. Synonyms for covetousness are greed and materialism,
Proverbs 23:4 “Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!
Jerusalem was under siege and Jeremiah prophesied in
Jeremiah 6:13 “Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is given to covetousness; And from the prophet even to the priest, Everyone deals falsely.”.
Covetousness or greed is a natural desire of the flesh and we need to die to the flesh daily.
Next “for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions”. This can be a huge problem in the church because Christians live in this world. The world sees someone successful in the abundance of his or her possessions. God looks at the heart.
“Yet He is not partial to princes, Nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; For they are all the work of His hands.”. Job 34:19.
Whether we are wealthy or poor in Christ all are the same, there is no difference between rich and poor. We know the Word says the love of money is the root of all evil. Giving to the poor is clearly a Biblical instruction, from the beginning of the Law of Moses until the coming of Jesus.
Deuteronomy 24:19 “When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.”
Matthew 25:41 – 43 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.”
Paul is one of the greatest apostles, but in every church, Paul planted and visited, he did fundraising for the poor in Jerusalem.
1Co 16:1-3 “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 3 And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.”
Rom 15:26 “For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.”
The Bible says they raised funds for the poor in the OT and NT with Jew and Gentile alike.
Now look in Romans 15:27 “It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things.”.
Another reason could be a “severe famine was about to come over all the earth”. Acts 11:28. “All the earth” in the original Greek translation is “the Roman Empire”. Paul did not collect from rich churches to give to poor churches, he collected from rich and poor churches to give to the poor in Jerusalem. There were churches in Macedonia that were living in “extreme poverty” and they urgently pleaded with Paul for the privilege of sharing in this ministry.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4. “Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency [a]that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.”
Acts 8:1 “And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem”.
Just like Paul the Apostle raised funds for the poor in Jerusalem we are called today to also give to those we know and trust, even those poor, who are spreading the Gospel, God the Holy Spirit allowed it to be in His Word for His people to read, and it is still relevant today.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for [a]instruction in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:16.
“Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account”. Philippines 4:17
Paul’s heart was pure and he did not desire money from anyone, but he knew that when a church gave a financial offering to the poor, there was a fruit that may abound to their account. What is that fruit that Paul was talking about? That fruit can be both financial and spiritual blessings to the church in the here and now and for all eternity.
Look at the fruit of Cornelius and his household in
Acts chapter 10:1-6 “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave b alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God. 5
Do you want to hear those words from the Lord or his angel? God sees your gifts to the poor and hears your every prayer and your requests are about to be answered. Read what the wisest man on the earth said,
“Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard.” Proverbs 21:13
Cornelius’ prayers were heard and answered. The Holy Spirit led Peter to the house of Cornelius and at his arrival, he found a large crowd ready to hear The Message. Peter was preaching to them the gospel and while he was
Acts 10:44 “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.”
An outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the gathering of the people. We can see two important truths here, prayer and gifts to the poor.
Paul’s heart was for the spiritual well-being of the church. He did not use any manipulation or control to get money out of any church. When he asked for money for the poor in the churches, he made sure that the people were giving in freedom.
So let each one as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of [a]necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.r”. 2 Corinthians 9:7
There are important points for us in verse one can look at. Firstly, it is a decision made in one’s heart when giving to the poor, because God looks at the heart. Paul said not to do it reluctantly or halfheartedly. Secondly, do not give under compulsion or pressure. It must be a free-will offering. If anyone lets you feel bad or place any condemnation upon anyone, it is controlling and manipulation. The Holy Spirit will prompt the heart and that is His way from the beginning.
Exodus 15:1-2 “Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying: “I will sing to the Lord, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! 2 The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”
God loves a cheerful giver. In the natural flesh, it is not cheerful to give money away, but in the Spirit, it is.
Paul knew that it was our Father’s heart to care for the poor but also a faith act of thanksgiving to the Lord!
“For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God,”. 2 Corinthians 9:12
It is more than just saying thank you with one’s lips, it is an act to say thank you to God for all His blessings, it is abundant, many thanksgiving to God.
We all want to see answered prayers right?
We want God to pour out His Spirit in their lives and churches, but here Paul is saying when one gives to the poor, it is a way of pouring out our hearts with thankfulness, appreciation, and gratefulness to God. The motive for giving is not to get something, but to say thank you for all God’s blessings in our lives. The benefit of sowing generously is reaping generously.
God does not need our money. He owns everything. He wants our hearts and looks upon our hearts. He pulls us into more intimacy with Him and wants us to be obedient. We cannot make God loves us more and He won’t love us any less no matter what! While we were still sinners He died for us on the cross.
God provided for millions of Israelites for forty years in the desert, and He provided bread and fish for thousands. God calls Himself Jehovah Jireh – The LORD Will Provide. It is not Biblical for anyone to pray to God for Him to convict another person in giving money or use manipulation to ask for anything. Manipulation is as the sin of witchcraft. The answer is to build relationship and friendship with people and churches with whom God connects you.
Psalm 121:1-3 “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.3 He will not allow your foot to [a]be moved;He who keeps you will not slumber.”
At the same time, we as believers cannot look away when disaster strikes in a city or land, especially when those suffering are people we know. One of our responsibilities as leaders with CMM is to go and visit our friends and members of CMM in the fields while also inspecting the generous, faithful giving of our Partners and investors in global futures. We also measure accountability and responsible usage of the funds that really all belong to the Lord and he touched one of our Partners to sow into. Stewardship is vital and so important for us to walk in the integrity and character of Jesus Christ.
As persecution increases globally CMM has many dear friends and missionaries in our global family that truly risk their lives for the cause of Christ. We ask you to pray to the Lord of the Harvest and ask what he desires of you to see souls saved and set on the path of life we are given by Jesus Christ. Let the Holy Spirit lead you as you pray.
“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.”. Hebrews 13:3
Not only to remember them in their prayers but Paul the Apostle showed us to take action by making financial gifts to them as well. Every Christian’s heart’s desires must be to walk closely with Jesus and to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:4 “ that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
May you receive the refreshing of the Lord for you and yours. Thanks for your time. Please share with your friends, family and church or group.
Pray and give at cmm.world/give-now