Proverbs 18-21, Psalm 4
Jim Elliot, the martyred missionary, said, He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Whatever we earn in this world will not remain with us in eternity. In fact, it is foolish how we hold on to our possessions so tightly and elevate their value, when in heaven the actual streets will be paved with gold (Revelation 21:21). Therefore we should be people who are open handed, not close fisted. Corrie Ten Boom said, “Hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.”
We read in Proverbs 21:13, “Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard.” Those in the world often give with the hope of getting something in return, maybe a favor, a job, a vote, etc. But God tells us to give to those who cannot pay you back, with no expectation of anything in return. Jesus said in Luke 14:13-14, “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Jesus gave a wonderful description of giving in Matthew 4:1-4, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound the trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deeds may be seen in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” When Jesus talked about sounding the trumpet, this was literally what the Pharisees would do. They wore small trumpets on their garments and to call the poor and draw attention to themselves they would blow that trumpet and the poor would come running. Exactly what Jesus spoke against and also what God spoke against in His law. Think of this vision when we see how most celebrities and politicians give, always with a news crew close at hand.
We read in Proverbs 19:17 that, “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.” We see this promise so clearly elaborated on by Jesus in the sheep and goat judgment. In Matthew 25:34-40, Jesus said, “Then the King will say to those on His right hand…for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You’,…And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” We can never outgive God.
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: