The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

07/02/2010

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Essentials In The Art Of Giving


"The disciples, each according to his own ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea" (Acts 11:29).

Many of us are charitable people, but I do admit that I am sometimes not too happy to be disturbed during dinner with a phone call from a charitable organization. Here in the book of Acts, it has been predicted that a severe famine would spread over the Roman Empire. Upon hearing this, the disciples who were there made a decision to help. They didn't know the members of the church in Jerusalem from Adam, but they knew that soon they would be in need. As a matter of fact, the Antioch church was mostly non-Jews, whereas the Jerusalem church was made up of Jewish believers. To be a Christian is more than a confession of faith, but a commitment to a new way of life. Now I know a lot of non-Christians who are generous with their money, but it seems that believers are the first to help those in need. One of the things that a Christian embraces is generosity. Jesus taught it, as did the apostles.

The Antioch church made no demands on it's members. It says that they, each according to his own ability, decided to provide help for the brothers living in Judea. The Bible is filled with wonderful examples of generosity on the part of people of faith. Who can ever forget the poor widow of Mark 12, who put two copper coins into the offering. Jesus response? "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth, but she out of her poverty" (Vs 42-44). We also have the example of the church in Macedonia. "Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity" (2 Cor. 8:2). The members of this church actually urgently pleaded for the privilege of sharing. There is a key to their generosity here and it ought to be well noted, because all Christian benevolence begins here. "And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us" (V 5). Those who give themselves to the Lord are willing to give to others...

Have a wonderful day.... Let your light shine for Him... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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