Believers are called to do bothto provide for the physical needs of others and to provide for their spiritual needs.
Scripture tells that having the right motive in our heart is imperative:
"1 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.
2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly."
Often there is a fascination with world travel, an attraction to making an effort that seems dramatic with the allure of what seems like an exotic locale as opposed to helping millions right here in America with enormous needs both physical and spiritual but living in circumstances quite unglamorous and familiar. Many young people romanticize about helping "poor" foreign nations and many of them are not even professing Christians, many are even atheists. The Peace Corps is an example of this. These urges mostly spring from a sense of exciting adventure coupled with being able to have a "badge of honor" that they performed wonderful altruistic works. A "community organizer" is another example.
We must ask ourselves - do we act so that our name might appear on a list of donors, that others might be impressed, that we might be proud of ourselves ? Perhaps we feel guilt which tempts us to think that we can rely on our acts to merit salvation. If we have not become completely convicted of our sin we can have difficulty in faithfully trusting in salvation by God's grace alone. Such actions will then have our earthly reward; the glory of ourselves, adoration by others, being "able to sleep at night" - but all such things are false and fleeting, of course.
What a proud and haughty nation that we, in our gravely misguided spiritual state of depravity, being on the precipice of financial collapse, would jaunt off in delusive denial of America's dire situation in a vain attempt to assuage our own guilt by making a show of helping far-off nations of millions of "starving heathens" who have "never heard the gospel".
American towns and cities are certainly chock full of millions who have heard the gospel and rejected it, as well as millions who are poor and ignorant by American standards. Moral depravity of every kind on the one hand, homes lost to foreclosure, unemployment, bankrupted from medical bills, etc., on the other. We certainly do not have to travel far down the street to find people to help both physically and spiritually.
Undoubtedly there are Americans called to carry the gospel overseas, but as a nation we have a "beam in our eye" and therefore present a "task at hand" for Christians that is of the utmost importance. If America falters it will be to our shame and there appears now to be no nation ready to take our place as a pre-eminent yet benevolent nation. IMHO...
posted on 10/19/2011 10:19:31 PM PDT
(We need to fix things ourselves)
Giving in secret has nothing to do with your post #12. Kindly do not attempt to change the subject.
I believe Christ reveals, through his parable in Matthew 25, where your post is in error. Our attitude should be not. “I have mine, let them earn theirs” but, “God gave me X, therefore, because I have X, I can freely give of it—food to the hungry, clothing to the naked, etc—because God has given it to me, not to store up for myself, but to be used to serve others and lead them to Him.
posted on 10/20/2011 8:42:11 PM PDT
(Reading Through the Bible in 90 Days)
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