Sunday, September 8, 2013

What Are Good Guidelines for Giving?

Does the Bible say who I should give my charity money to, or is it up to me?

"For they went out for the sake of the name accepting no help from the pagans. Therefore we ought to support such men, so that we may be fellow workers in the truth." 3 John 1: 7-8.

This Bible verse is from a passage giving praise to Gaius for his charity and hospitality to the traveling ministers of the Gospel in the early church.

Those who were serving the Lord were doing it sacrificially at a cost to themselves. They did not ask for help from those who were not believers in the message but trusted the Lord to provide.

The apostle John was saying we have an obligation to support those who were serving; he says we ought to, and we must.

In the early days this support was risky business it meant giving shelter or refuge for those serving the Church. It meant giving some of your own food or some of the little money you had.

Those they were to support were the ones who...
     * "Went out." these people left something behind; they left home, careers, future, family etc.
     * "For the sake of the Name." They had a dedicated commitment to Jesus.
     * "Accepting no help from pagans." They were not in it for the money.
     * "Workers in the truth." they had integrity. They had a focused mission of spreading the Gospel.

We should give out of our abundance and we should give even if all we have is a widow's mite. We should give wisely and test those we share our financial blessings with. Take time and research to make sure the person or organization is following a call to minister the gospel, serving in truth and are operating with integrity.

When you give to those who serve you are becoming a fellow worker with them in the Gospel.