Deuteronomy 15:11 states: “For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.”
Although this is an Old Testament passage, is this command still relevant today? We know that the Proverbs are rich with messages about being generous to the poor, but what does the New Testament have to say? In Corinthians we find the following:
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
The bible is certainly far from silent on the subject of giving. Jesus commands us to give in the book of Matthew:
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt. 10:8)
Here Jesus reminds us of a very important lesson. “Freely ye have received”. In other words, everything that we have received in life is a gift from God. We must be thankful for the many blessings that God has graciously given us and likewise freely share them with others. We are reminded of the first century ecclesia in Acts where all the believers sold their possessions and goods, and gave them to all men according to each man’s need.
“And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:44-47)
Can you imagine what that must have been like? No believer would ever have gone hungry because of the generosity of others. It should be no different today. We must be careful to follow Jesus’ command to freely give.
Agape in Action is a non-profit organization seeking to nurture both the physical and spiritual needs of children and families living with the effects of poverty. Through their organization, individuals may sponsor a child or project to provide life saving medicines or medical care as well as helping to meet numerous other critical needs. Agape in Action currently works in Kenya, Uganda and India.
The Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1976 to serve the household of faith as well as spread the truth to all the world. The foundation provides funding for numerous projects in the Christadelphian community. Projects are global in scale and include providing financial relief to brothers and sisters in need or perhaps funding dormitories, child care (crèche), special care (e.g., cripples, aids), orphanages, shelters, training and nourishment programs across the globe.
WCF funds Christadelphian missionaries around the world. The White Fields program deals with brethren who have applied for and received funding for specific preaching and pastoral projects over a given period of time. WCF also provides a wide variety of resources such as seminars, DVDs, books, booklets etc. to aid in the spreading of the gospel.
Christadelphian Meal A Day is a charity seeking to support sustainable social development projects in some of the poorest countries in the world. They are currently working in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and South Africa. Christadelphian Meal a Day financed projects provide clean drinking water to many villages in Africa and Asia, improved food production via agriculture and irrigation schemes, essential basic healthcare and sanitation, and nursery and primary education to poor, refugee and HIV/AIDS orphan children. They are also the sole supporter of a number of orphanages in Kenya and two specialist schools for the physically disabled, one in Cameroon and one in Kenya.
The Christadelphian Softball Benefit is an annual charity event that seeks to aid fellow believers in North America struggling with financial hardships. The Lord Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt 25:40) Our purpose is to reflect the love of our Lord Jesus by helping those in need. The Benefit brings young and old alike together with the common bond of raising donations which can help ease the financial burden of individuals or families within the faith. Sharing in our abundance is a small way to show our love, our care, and our desire to follow the example of Jesus, who gave of his all.