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Benevolence-Opening Your Heart & Hand

Benevolence-Opening Your Heart & Opening Your Hand
    Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the LORD will answer. Isaiah 58:7-9 (NLT)
    Its our human fleshly nature to hang on to those things we cherish most. And this couldnt be more truthful when referring to our money. Our possessions are everything to us; especially in Western culture. Dont think so? Take a look at the next homeless person who is walking down the street, and notice the shopping cart, which is laden with what others deemed useless refuse. And yet, they will guard this prized possession and fight to keep it to their selves.
    I remember from my youth being given the illustration of attempting to keep our stuff by tightly holding on to it. It is like picking up a handful of sand and squeezing it tightly. The more you squeeze and the tighter you hold on, the more it slips through the cracks of your tightly clinched fingers. Open your hand and youll find nothing.
    Q:So how does this selfish habit of the human flesh line up with what we are told in the Bible?
    We are told in Scripture to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves (Phil 2:3). And the 19th chapter of Matthew we read how Jesus told the rich man to sell his possessions and to give it to the poor. It wasnt because Jesus wanted him to be poor, its because he knew how much money meant to the rich man. Again, in the Book of Luke, Jesus gives advice about giving, and a promise for those who do this with proper motives and concern for those in need.
    Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in fullpressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. Luke 6:38 (NLT)
    And we are told again in the Book of Acts:
    &You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35 (NKJV)
    To give to others who are in need is an act of Benevolence.
    Benevolence is defined as:
    1.An inclination to be kind and helpful or generous
    2.Something done or given out of kindness
    This word Benevolence is a word every Christian should be familiar with, as each church should be equipped to meet the needs of the body of believers in times of need through a benevolence fund. Money is donated to the Church from the body of believers over and above their tithe money, and it is set-aside for people who have exhausted all options of help through family and friends and are in great need.
    We can look in the book of Isaiah to see what God has told us to do with regards to this type of love. He gives us clear instruction on how we are to use our resources, and what we can expect to receive in return for this benevolence:
     Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon. The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Isaiah 58:10-11 (NLT)
    Ask The Lord to show you how to be a better steward of the resources He has given to you. As you are led, let them be given for the needs of those who are in need. Dont judge, just listen to your heart and give over and above your tithing. God will reward you in a blessing that is only felt by those who properly give in faith and happiness. Be benevolentBe like Christ.
    STUDY QUESTION: What instructions are we given in the Scriptures above, and what are we promised in return?
    PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to let go of what God has entrusted to you? Are you willing to be a better steward of those things, which have been given to you by God?
    APPLICATION: Ask God to lead you where you are to share with others. Start by giving to the benevolence fund at your Church.
    Father, Thank You for giving me a heart and eyes to see the needs of those around me. Thank You for giving me all I have Lord. I pray that You would continue to write it upon my heart to give liberally for benevolence. May You be glorified in this giving, and may others see the Love You have for them. In Jesus precious name, amen&
    Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000