Chapter 21

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
(Acts 20:35)

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.  But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?  Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
(1John 3:16-18)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave…”
(John 3:16)

Love for others leads us to take action to help those in need.  Because of love, we give our time and resources to help those in need.  Consider some more verses about giving:

Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  (Romans 12:13  NIV)

“Sell your possessions, and give to the needy.  Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.”  (Luke 12:33)

If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.  (Proverbs 25:21-22)

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  (Hebrews 13:2)

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.  (Hebrews 13:16)

“Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”  (Matthew 5:42 NIV)

John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”  (Luke 3:11 NIV)

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need.  (Ephesians 4:28)

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.  (Proverbs 19:17)

The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.  (Psalm 37:21)

Scripture puts some limits on our generosity:

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule:  “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.”  (2Thessalonians 3:10 NIV)

Scripture warns us about giving without having love:

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  (1Corinthians 13:3)

Finally, scripture calls us to be genuine in our giving:

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  (2Corinthians 9:7)

For Further Reflection

Matthew 6:1-4:  Don’t be like the hypocrites.

Matthew 20:25-28:  Whoever would be great among you…

Luke 10:30-37:  Go and do likewise.

1Timothy 5:3-16:  Providing for relatives.

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