“Sell That Ye Have” And Give To The Poor
By David J. Stewart | March 2014
Luke 12:33-34, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
As I “SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES” as our Lord Jesus Christ commanded in John 5:39, I realize more-and-more just how lacking most Christian's lives are in Christlike living. Every Christian knows that we ought to pray, but very few believers ever grow in the knowledge of the Scriptures to the point where we pray for OTHERS. Jesus said in Matthew 6:7-8 not to pray lengthy prayers for ourselves, because God KNOWS what we have need of before we ask Him.
Pray At Length For OTHERS
Albeit, the Lord DID teach us to pray at length for OTHERS in Luke 11:5-8 in the account of the neighbour begging to borrow three loaves of bread at midnight for a traveling friend who has come to him for help. The neighbour kept asking and asking, persistently, refusing to take “no” for an answer, and finally due to frustration the man lends his neighbour bread in the middle of the night for his friend. The Bible calls this type of persistent begging, “IMPORTUNITY” (Luke 11:8) and it applies to our prayer life FOR OTHERS.
How drastically different this mindset is from everything most churchgoers have ever been taught about prayer. If you're prayer life consists of you asking God for things and help for YOURSELF, you are still in preschool spiritually and haven't even begun to grow in the Lord. Mature Christians spend very little time praying for themselves, but they are consumed with begging God persistently and relentlessly for OTHERS (for their needs, their salvation, their burdens, their health, their spiritual growth, their family, et cetera).
Remember as a general rule to pray briefly for yourself and at length for OTHERS. This is the mind of Christ (1st Corinthians 2:16) that we are commanded to have. Philippians 2:4-5, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Jesus didn't live, think and focus on Himself (and neither should we). Dr. Jack Hyles (1926-2001) once said that if he could teach his church congregation any one thing next to salvation itself, it would be to “GET OUT OF THE SELF LIFE!” Amen and amen! You and I are only as good a Christian as we think, pray and live TO HELP OTHERS.
Sell That Ye Have To Give To THE POOR
Having said that, there is another spiritual area where most Christian believers horribly fall short and are still crawling in preschool, barely ready for kindergarten, and that area is in our giving to the Lord. Giving to THE LORD means giving TO OTHERS—giving to the poor, giving to support the sowing of the seed of the gospel, giving to support missionaries, giving to support the work of Jesus Christ. Jesus said to “SELL THAT YE HAVE, AND GIVE ALMS.” How many Christians do you know who give so much to the poor that they sell personal possessions to do so? I don't know any! Do you? It just reveals how lacking all of us are in serving the Lord. God has been convicting my heart continually to give more than ever before since I read this Scripture in Luke 12:33-34.
Jesus said to “SELL THAT YE HAVE” (Luke 12:33-34) and give alms (help to the poor). We will never truly know what it means to be generous until we make the sacrifice to part with our possessions, and sacrificially give to OTHERS who are poor. When Jesus commanded us to SELL THAT YE HAVE, He was teaching us as His disciples to GIVE SACRIFICIALLY. The truth hurts doesn't it?
Jesus commanded every believer who has possessions to “SELL THAT YE HAVE” and give to the poor!!! Wow! “Alms” is giving to HELP THE POOR (whether giving to them directly or indirectly). Luke 12:33-34, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” One way to lay up for ourselves treasures in Heaven is to give to THE POOR. If you are 35 years old, half your life is over if you are blessed to make it to live 70-years of age (threescore and ten). If you are 48 years old, two-thirds of your life is over! And of course, you and I could be dead by sundown! Eternity is just around the corner.
The Bible, God's inspired Word, repeatedly tells us to “SET YOUR AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE” (Colossians 3:1-3), and tells us that we ought to be “REDEEMING THE TIME” (Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5), because eternity is literally just a heartbeat away. Are you living here on earth with an eternal perspective? Are you living each day for eternity—thinking, working and planning within your local New Testament Church, soul-winning, labouring fervently in prayer, fasting and supporting missionaries who sow the seed of the gospel and help the poor? There are open doors all around us! Which door is God impressing upon your heart to go through? Is God leading you to go to the mission field yourself? Is God convicting you about supporting missionary work financially? If you are skeptical, you ought to plan a trip to visit with the missionary that you are considering supporting.
Don't Give To THE RICH
Don't miss that... THE POOR! Most people give to THE RICH. There are so many scams and rackets, religious and secular alike. I'd never give a dime to Pat Robertson's 700 Club! I wouldn't support them for numerous reasons: they are heretical Charismatics who practice clairvoyance on air (claiming to see TV viewers healed while watching TV), they are all filthy RICH from their religious business, they preach a false plan of salvation, they promote New Age psychologists to counsel Christians workers in need of help, et cetera). Those who genuinely serve the Lord don't live extravagant lives, knowing that all that extra money could be used to help suffering missionaries on the field. I would NEVER support any so-called “ministry” (the word minister means “servant”) who pays himself more than double what the average working American gets paid on average. Check out Ray Comfort's Money Machine — The Pay Of The Master! (you cannot serve God and mammon).
I am a big critic of foolish giving, and too many people (including believers) are idiots with their money. When you give money to Red Cross and United Way, you are paying their executives over $650,000 a year!!! When you give T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn and Joel Osteen your money, you're supporting their ridiculously lavish multi-million-dollar lifestyle. 1st Timothy 6:5, “Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.” THE CURSE OF TV EVANGELISTS!
Televangelist Benny Hinn rakes in around $100,000,000 a year. He stays in $10,000 a night hotels. Hinn has been exposed on Nightline news as a big liar, con-man and fraud. Yet, as insane as it may be, heathen religious people all around the world support him. God will NOT reward anyone for donating money to pay for the extravagant lifestyle of some crooked minister that serves himself. It is just as important that we carefully give responsibly to those who genuinely serve Christ with a heart of love, sacrifice and generosity (and not the greedy, covetous and self-centered rackets like Ken Ham's Answers-In-Genesis), as it is for us to support the work of Jesus Christ. Some people get all bubbly and excited, feeling good inside because they gave money to some psuedo-minister, when in reality the money is being squandered to pay for someone's extravagant lifestyle.
Don't be stupid! I am a firm believer in giving to the local New Testament Church and to the missionaries that they support through their corresponding mission boards. Stay away from Ken Ham's Answers-In-Genesis and Eric Hovind's Creation Today, both greedy businesses which rake in millions of dollars a year. Paul Taylor used to work with Ken Ham and now has got together with Eric Hovind to build their money-machine. Ken Ham rakes in about $20,000,000 a year from his Answers-In-Genesis religious business, and now wants to built a $73,000,000 Noah's Ark theme Park in Kentucky. The project is going to be built, run by a private investment company. The governor of Kentucky fully supports the project, which is projected to create several hundred full-time jobs. Greedy Heretic Ken Ham Building Life-Size Noah's Ark Cash-Cow Park For $73,000,000! (den of thieves). It's all about money.
I want to puke when I hear Eric Hovind exploit the gospel to make money, while they are making ridiculous amounts of money. Here's Eric Hovind Begging For $600,000 From Supporters To Teach The Lie That Dinosaurs Lived 5,000 Years Ago. The world is dying for SERVANTS of God, which is what the word “MINISTER” means. Jesus plainly warned that NO MAN CAN SERVE GOD AND MAMMON (MONEY). Christianity is NOT a 501c3 state-licensed business. The Church is a gathering of born-again believers. I am going to cry aloud and expose any so-called “servant of God” who builds a financial empire and lives extravagantly off it. Have you seen Ray Comfort's Money Machine — The Pay Of The Master! (you cannot serve God and mammon).
Jesus plainly warned that there is no reward if compensation is made. When you give-to-get, and get, you already have your reward. Jesus said to give to the poor, disabled and imprisoned, who cannot return the gesture, generosity or act of kindness (and then God will recompense us in eternity) . . .
Luke 14:12-14, “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”
I love that PROMISE from God. Notice that it is at the “resurrection of the just,” that is, the PREtribulation Rapture, when we will receive our eternal reward, along with our new glorified body (Philippians 3:21).
God also rewards believers for loving those who are mean, unkind, selfish, rude and unloving toward us. Matthew 5:46-48, “For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” We ought to say “hello” to those who are cold, calloused and unfriendly, that we may exemplify our Savior.
Notice the command to preach the gospel to the poor. Why the poor? It's because the rich won't listen. Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Wealthy people already have everything they need here on earth, so they don't want God. Hollywood actor Angelina Jolie has been quoted as saying publicly that people like her don't need a God . . .
“There doesn't need to be a God for me. There's something in people that's spiritual, that's godlike. I don't feel like doing things just because people say things, but I also don't really know if it's better to just not believe in anything, either.” ―Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie needs God desperately, she just doesn't know it yet; but she will the very second that she passes from this earthly life into eternity. Miss Jolie will believe in Jesus Christ, the Bible and Hell the second that she dies! It was in the new in March of 2014 that Angelina Jolie had her perfectly good breasts removed, because the “experts” told her that she had an 87% likelihood of getting breast cancer because of a “defective gene” in her body. Insane Medical World Has Women Removing Good Breasts To Reduce Risk Of Cancer (Angelina Jolie).
My friend, the Bible teaches in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” It is beginning to appear that Angelina Jolie does need God after all. We are all sinners; therefore, we must all die. Jolie's godlike status, wealth and fame given to her by Hollywood will soon pass away, just as the Bible says in 1st John 2:15-17. Hebrews 9:27 warns that everyone has an appointment with death, AND THEN THE JUDGMENT!!!
Why We Should All Give To MISSIONARY WORK!
Every New Testament Church should support missionaries. Since churches are composed of individual born-again believers, then every individual Christian ought to support missionaries as well. We ought to have a GLOBAL, REGIONAL (Acts 13:4; 2nd Corinthians 8:5) and LOCAL vision. Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Matthew 4:19, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
The Word of God ought to ignite a passion in every Christian believer to surrender ourselves to the Lord, and instill a passion for investing in missions work by giving. Acts 13:4, “So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.” 2nd Corinthians 8:5, “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” When you pray for missionaries and give financially to support their work, that makes you a co-laborer together with them in the Lord. God will reward you as if you were on the mission field yourself. Mark 9:41, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”
*Make sure that you only donate to genuine Christian missionaries who are obeying The Great Commission, like BIMI (Baptist International Missions, Inc) and not a scam fat-cat charity that pays it's executives 6-digit salaries!
We are not as generous as what we give; but rather, what we keep for ourselves! Think about that! When we give to God, we are really just letting go of what is already His. Oh, how we ought to give to God. May we graduate from spiritual preschool and start praying at length in IMPORTUNITY FOR OTHERS, and may we give sacrificially to the work of Christ, even selling our personal belongings to do so, supporting missionaries who are faithfully preaching the gospel.
I like BIMI a lot because they have field directors that monitor the missionaries, helping them and making sure that God's money is used wisely, effectively and honestly. I wouldn't give a dime to any ministry which is not held accountable financially. An independent audit is NOT acceptable, as many auditing companies are corrupt. I look at the missionaries themselves and what God is accomplishing on the mission field THROUGH THEM for Jesus Christ. I DON'T like IBM's Statement of Faith, but I DO believe that their missionaries are being used of God to obey The Great Commission. There are no perfect churches, church members, pastors, missionaries or missionary boards; but thanks be to God that we DO have a perfect Savior, Jesus Christ the PERFECT and SINLESS Lamb of God!!! Thank you God!!!
Jesus commanded all of His disciples to SELL THAT YE HAVE (Luke 12:33-34) and give alms (aid to the poor). To sell one's personal possessions requires SACRIFICIAL GIVING, for there is no other way to truly give to God as He desires from us. When you give to God, you are simply letting go of what already belongs to Him. We are all guilty of selfishness. We have all seen photos of children who are starving with their ribs showing, malnourished and sickly. How many of us care enough to sell some of our possessions, all of them if need be, to feed and help the truly homeless? May we all commit in our heart to start giving generously, joyfully, consistently and prayerfully to foreign missionaries on the field who are faithfully preaching the gospel and making a difference for God. I like BIMI, because they hold their missionaries accountable, have been faithfully serving God for 40-years, are Independent Fundamental Baptist, and are King James Bible only.
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