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What the Bible says about Charitable Deeds
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Deuteronomy 14:23-26

Verses 23-26 contains admonitions to go to the place God chooses, turn the increase into money if needed, and to spend it on whatever the heart desires, rejoicing with each other before God. However, the chapter's theme remains as a vital component of the instruction. God wants us to enjoy the fruit of our labors, as He also does when we obey Him. He also wants our relationship to be many-layered. Our focus, of course, should be off the self, centered on God, and extending outward toward others.

The rest of the chapter addresses this outward orientation with teaching to share with those who are less fortunate. It tells us to make sure that the needy are also able to rejoice and enjoy this time of fellowship and prosperity. The chapter ends by telling us that when we do these things, we give God good reason to bless us in whatever we set out to do.

Throughout these verses, we see God, very active in the lives of His people, admonishing His people to follow His lead. God is quite concerned about His people and His spiritual body. He cares what we do to ourselves both inwardly and outwardly, physically and spiritually (I Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:18-22), and He cares how we treat each other as members of "the body of Christ" (I Corinthians 12:27).

While He allows us to partake of things we desire, Deuteronomy 14 shows that God does impose limits; He wants us to exercise self-control. He expects us to be givers and not just takers. This applies to sharing our money, food, drink, activities, and fellowship with others, and we should make special effort to share ourselves with Him in prayer, study, meditation, and church services during this time of plenty. After all, one of the purposes of going to the Feast is to learn how to fear God, and we do this by spending time with Him.

Staff
Whatever Your Heart Desires

Proverbs 29:7

The righteous person not only sees the need, but he also thinks about it and works to solve the difficulty. However, notice the contrast here. A wicked person, lacking that missing dimension of God's love, cannot even comprehend the process. He does not know why it is necessary. He cannot figure it out why it even matters.

He lacks the ingredient—the missing dimension of God's love—to see that there is any difference between thinking about the poors' plight or not. It is as simple as that. He reckons that it is good enough just to throw money at the problem or offer a stopgap measure. The righteous, though, considers the cause of the poor; he thinks it all the way through.

The dividing point in this particular verse between the righteous and the wicked is the thought process—what goes on inside their heads.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
"If I Have Not Charity"

Matthew 6:1

The word in the New King James Version rendered "charitable deeds," and in the King James, "alms," is best translated as "mercifulness" or "mercy." There are some who believe the word should actually be "righteousness." This comes from the Hebrew concept of good deeds or alms. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word used most often for the idea is sadaka, translated most often as "righteousness." Rather than saying "doing good deeds," the Hebrews would say "doing righteousness."

The idea here is obviously righteous acts—good works. The Greeks did not have a word that worked exactly, and so Matthew chose the word that means "mercies."

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
"If I Have Not Charity"

Revelation 2:18-19

Christ compliments these people for their works, love, service, faith, and patience. He mentions "works" (ergon, "deeds, doings, labor") twice, probably for emphasis. These five traits are among the most highly prized of New Testament admonitions to Christians. Not only do these people have them, but they have continued to grow in them—even during the confusion, scattering, and apostasy the church is suffering! What a compliment, considering the woeful spiritual downfall and lackadaisical approach of so many!

Staff
The Seven Churches: Thyatira


 




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