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The Balance of Giving

The Balance of Giving
Something Better Than Silver and Gold

Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.  And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, "Look at us." So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. Acts 3:1-7 (NKJV)

What do you do when someone comes up to you on the street asking for money? Do you reach into your pocket and give them money without question, or, do you look closely at them attempting to determine whether they are legitimately experiencing hard times, or just looking for some free money?  I think many of us can find ourselves doing both.  I believe there are many who want to genuinely help others, and at times, they reach into their pockets and give.  And I believe there are other times when they want to give but in the same token, they don't want any part of some scam and they might be apprehensive.  

I used to give to those begging for money all the time, figuring I wouldn't judge, but just grace them, saying, "God bless you."  I figured it was God's money anyway, and if they were scamming, then they were scamming from God, not me.  And I also knew Jesus spoke on helping those in need, and gave a stern warning for those who wouldn't help.

"Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' "Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?' Then He will answer them, saying, "Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' Matthew 25:41-46 (NKJV)

But then one day, a thought came to me, "What if God didn't want me to just give them money?  What if He wanted me to give them something more valuable?" 

Such was the case for the Apostles Peter, and John.  They were about their business going to the temple when a man who was crippled from birth confronted them asking them for money.  Peter responded by saying, "Look at us." So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

The man would have been content with money, and yet God wanted to give him something much more valuable - his ability to walk, and ultimately his ability to have faith in Christ.

And so it may be for those who come up to us asking for money - God may have something much more valuable than silver and gold to give them.  Maybe God wants you to give them something else 0 something you may be taking for granted - The message, "Jesus Christ loves you."  Am I suggesting you tell them God loves them, and not be willing to feed or help them?  Absolutely not!  James speaks against this very thing.

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? James 2:15-16 (NKJV)

And we see Paul instructing Timothy to command believers to help those in need, and giving us insight to the reward waiting as well.

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. 1Timothy 6:17-19 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, we need to be encouraged to be willing to give freely those things God has freely given to us - and this includes, food, clothing, money, grace, mercy, love, and the Gospel message.  It is good to fill an empty belly, but it is better to fill an empty soul.  Maybe we can do both.  Let's let God be what He wants through us.  

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn from the Scriptures contained within this devotional with regard to our money, and resources and our sharing of what God has given us?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to stop and take time to share all you have with those in need, including the Word of God?

APPLICATION: Be willing to stop and help others.  Instead of just giving them some loose change or buying them a hamburger, ask the Lord is you are to share a Word of encouragement, or pray with them.

Father, Thank You for Your illustrations within Your Word to help guide us when dealing with those less fortunate.  Thank You for showing us there is something more valuable than silver and gold.  Help me to see these opportunities today, and guide me to handle them properly.  May glory and honor be given to you in the way I handle these situations.  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