By Toni Smothers
In Ephesians 5: 1-3, our instructions are plain:
“Follow God’s example in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love for others, following the example of Christ, who loved you and gave himself as a sacrifice to take away your sins. And God was pleased, because that sacrifice was like sweet perfume to Him.”
Christians know how to share and we also know that when we share happily, we please our Lord with our sincerity. As groups, we have always raised the funds necessary to fulfill the needs of our churches and various other projects we become aware of from time to time that are in need of help. Though those we help may vary, the social principle is always the same; to affirm the rights of everyone to receive mercy and assistance in housing, basic food supplies, employment, responsibly, and compassionate understanding – Sometimes in the form of a “hand-out”, but even more importantly, in the more lasting form of a, “hand-up”.
In the world community, believers commit to the achievement of fellowship of persons who honestly love one another. We pledge ourselves to seek the meaning of the gospel in all issues that divide people and threaten the growth of world community. We routinely set aside some of our personal time and heart-felt commitment to the rights of men, women, children, youth, young adults, the aging and those with handicapping conditions; to improvement of the quality of life for all people needing assistance; and to the rights and dignity of racial, ethnic and religious minorities.
Christians can never be an idle or a stingy people – The Lord has called us to a higher standard. God, who has given us everything we have in the first place, knows our hearts and minds and he also looks for cheerfulness in our attitude toward giving. Let us direct ourselves toward earnest prayer and willing self-denial. Diligence in seeking God’s Will can only serve to remind ourselves of the values He requires of us individually. And we also know that the Lord always enables those from which he requires. We must direct our attention toward finding ways to help others through our prayer, personal time, funds, missions and our sincere love for our fellow man.
Heavenly Father, in your Word, we are told to tithe to our churches and additionally, when God’s children are in need, we are told to be the ones to help them out. Please open our hearts to obedience to your Word. Help us to fulfill your important calling with happy, spontaneous, generosity as we sacrifice a small portion of our bounty to those who have great need...Amen