Thursday, May 14, 2015

Devotion: What Are Alms?

We have had several discussions about prosperity and we keep coming back to this passage, “for it is he (God) that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant” (Deuteronomy 8:18) as we have tried to answer the question, “Prosperity, is it truly of God or is it of Satan?”  We have discussed varying opinions as to the interpretation of prosperity, however we continually mention that from this passage, it appears that the power to get wealth is of God and that there is a reason for this prosperity.

One of the purposes for the wealth is for us to be a blessing to others through the giving of “alms.”  The giving of “alms” is when we basically “give money or goods to those in need of charity.”

“He who shuts his ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in his own time of need” (Proverbs 21:13 TLB).  “Anyone who oppresses the poor is insulting God who made them.  To help the poor is to honor God” (Proverbs 14:31 TLB).  “When you help the poor you are lending to the Lord—and he pays wonderful interest on your loan (Proverbs 19:17 TLB)!  “Happy is the generous man, the one who feeds the poor” (Proverbs 22:9 TLB).  “The good man knows the poor man’s rights; the godless don’t care” (Proverbs 29:7 TLB).  “But if someone who is supposed to be a Christian has money enough to live well, and sees a brother in need, and won’t help him—how can God’s love be within him” (I John 3:17 TLB)?

Blessed is he who gives to the poor in their time of need.  He who ignores the calling to help the poor, insults God.  To help the poor is to honor God.  Think of this way, when you give to the poor, you are lending to the Lord, who pays interest on what you give.  When you help the poor, God smiles down upon you, because you show that you have the love of God inside of you.

“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.  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.  But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:1-4 KJV).

But be warned, do not make a public showing of your giving as some do.  When you do, you lose the reward from Father God, for your public acknowledgement will be your only reward.  When you give, give secretly, not telling your left hand what you right hand is doing.  When you give as instructed, God will reward you as he promises in his word.

And as we have previously mentioned and say yet once again, we know that today’s message will not settle the debate, but it just might help us “to better understand the purpose for the prosperity.”  As always, we pray that our message will bless you, inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it.  If this message was a blessing to you, please share so that others may be blessed as well.  Amen.

Enjoy your blessings - KW

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