Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 9
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.
To be seen—this is the entire motivation. Whether you are seen is not the point, but are you trying to be seen.
Alms—mercy, pity, compassion toward the poor. Eventually just mean giving money.
Sound a trumpet—make announcements, call a group, draw attention.Toot your own horn.
Their reward—they wanted human applause and that’s what they’ll get.
Left right hand—do not dwell on it, as secretly as possible.
And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.
Rather than focusing on washing before eating, give what you eat to someone who needs it.
If you do right stuff with what you have, you aren’t dirty and don’t need washing!
Love fulfills the law. Love gives.
There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.5 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter
Italian—Gentile proselyte, cared for Jews, showed this by giving them alms.
Cornelius chosen for service by the Lord because of the testimony of his life.
Prayers offered to God, alms offered to people.Memorial—remembrance, reminder, record.
If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
--this is not health and wealth doctrine! God will entrust spiritual things to one who shows faithful with physical things.
Romans 15:26—church in Macedonia and Achaia made a contribution for the poor saints in Jerusalem.
Galatians 2:10--Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
James 2—whole issue about faith and works is centered on giving to the poor.
--this isn’t begrudging duty, nor is it manipulation of God—he knows your heart.
1 Corinthians 13:3
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
--Paul knew what Corinth was giving and it wasn’t enough! Guilts them into giving more!
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
Bountifully—the spirit of the giver, the reaping will be in proportion and in the spirit of the sowing. Purposeth—full consent of your free will and choice.
Grudgingly—out of sorrow. Necessity—by constraint, can’t get out of it.
Abound to good—God gives to you so you can do good to others.
Sufficiency—not needing help from others. --not referring to what you have because you work, but what God gives you because you gave to others.
Dispersed abroad—has no worries about provision, just throws stuff out there!
--Give and let God take care of the rest.