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Part 5 of 6: Idle Caring
"Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, "Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well"—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?" James 2:15-16 (New Living)
Introduction: Caution- vs- Compassion
Common site of poor people begging for change
• We see them on the street corner begging for change, or holding a sign
• They are about town pushing their carts of belongings
• In the larger cities they will wash your windows for spare change
• On Television they are the faces of children and elderly
We are faced with a dilemma– "Do I give?" or "Do I ignore?"
Knowing this person’s need, do I offer a gift ambitiously seeking to alleviate their suffering, even if only for a little while. Or, do I turn a blind eye– "to each his own"– "life’s not fair"– "you get what you get".
Sometimes we may spare some change, but most of the time we push them aside neglected, forgotten.
We feel compelled to give. We know we ought to give, but we tell ourselves "No! Their likely to "misuse" our money– spending it on alcohol, or even worse, drugs." So we place limitations on ourselves that we won’t give cash– and so we never do.
We are told to be good stewards of our money; to never waste it.
What good is giving a few dollars to a homeless drunk anyhow. They’ll waste it on booze and be none-the-better.
Even Jesus, himself, said, "The poor you will always have with you."
And yet there is a nagging guilt- "I ought to"– "I should have".
I could have done something.
Issue: How is this wasting my life
"The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13 (RSV)
Two great commandments
Love God, Love neighbor
I. We Are Commanded
Matthew 25:31-46 "Sheep & Goats"
Christ distinguishes those who will be with God and those who won’t.
"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it." Proverb 3:27 (RSV)
II. My Money Is God’s Money
My resources are God’s resources
"The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein" Psalm 24:1 (RSV)
Should I give every time I am asked? No, or you would quickly be in the poor house.
Even giving on a limited predefined basis is still giving
Tithe 10% to God; give an offering of 1-2% as special to those in need.
III. It Gives Us The Character Of Christ
"Thus says the LORD: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practice steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, says the LORD."" Jeremiah 9:23-24 (RSV)
"He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8 (RSV)
Concept of Justice
More than legal, basic needs=basic rights
- All Sermons on Compassion
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- Scripture on Compassion
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