Summary: Alms giving is usually motivated by our emotions.
“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. Therefore when you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have the glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.”
The act of alms giving is usually motivated by our emotions. So when we see someone that is in need, we are moved by are emotions and we respond to the need. The giving of alms should be the normal way of life for the believers because we have received so much from our heavenly Father.
After the out pouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost the early church began to grow so rapidly that they places deacons and elders to see after the widows and the orphans in the local church. And the bible tells us that that sold their possession and brought in the money and lay it at the apostle’s feet that there would be no lack in the church.
In early church the homes of the people became the gathering place where they would hear the word and have their need supplied, both spiritual and material. Yet, we see that the church did not totally meet the social and material needs of mankind in that day, for there were those who would set at the gate and beg alms.
And I believe that in the area of alms giving the modern day church has failed in meeting its responsibility. And for this reason various charities have been set up to meet today’s needs. Today some churches are so busy building bigger churches, funding adult activities, promoting youth programs and social events within the local church, [and there is nothing wrong with that] but they have forgotten about the local needs in the community.
Knowing that the needs are many in the community, we will be held in account for the things that we have done. Jesus said if you have done this unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. And this is why the giving of alms is so important.
In the gospel of Luke, chapter twelve, Jesus gave a parable about the ground of a certain rich man that brought forth plentifully. And Jesus said here is a man that lays up treasure for himself, but is not rich toward God. Sometimes we get caught up in stuff and we buy more stuff to replace the stuff that we don’t use. Jesus said unto his disciples, “Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body what shall you cover it with. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”
He said consider the ravens and the sparrow for they neither sow nor reap, they do not have a storehouse or barn, but God feed them. Fear not, little flock for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. And then He said to the rich man, “Sell what ye have, and give alms, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
When we see a need and open our hearts thing begin to happen in the Spirit world. You remember Cornelius, the bible called him a devout man, and one that feared God and gave much alms to the people. And when the angle appeared before him he said, “Thy prayers and your alms are come up for a memorial before God.”
You see, our tithe belongs to God, and the first fruit offering was required, but the giving of alms is an act of love, and when we give it goes up before the Lord as a memorial. For God loves a cheerful giver.
When the apostle Paul was giving his defense before Festus, having been accused of stirring up the crowds, he said, “But this I confess unto you that after the way which they call heresy, I worship the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.” And Paul went on to say that he had been faithful in bringing offerings and the giving of alms to the nation.
In the book of Acts chapter three we see Peter and John going to the temple at the ninth hour for prayer. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple to ask alms of them entered into the temple.
In the bible days charities were almost unknown, and the helpless were compelled to beg. The receiving of alms was this man’s way of survival, and when he saw Peter and John entering he asked alms. Notice the answer given, “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.