Jesus told us to give to the poor, not to serve Mammon

Dear friends, as I go on in the Christian life, I am coming to appreciate more just how important it is for us to give to the poor. We need to give time, physical resources AND the gospel to the poor. Without giving time, our hearts are not involved. Without giving food and other things, our love is empty talk, and without giving the gospel and God’s Word, we neglect the true eternal needs of the very people who are most likely to be responsive to God’s call.

In Matthew 25, the parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus made it clear that our attitude towards helping the seemingly unimportant people in desperate need reveals whether we are “sheep” – destined to enjoy God forever, or “goats” – those who call Jesus Lord but are on our way to hell. It is the “goats” who shut their eyes and ears to the needs of those around us, especially the needs of poor Christians.

We cannot give to everyone who sends a request over the internet, because really we don’t know who they actually are, but if we have money and resources and time available, I believe we should visit the poor both locally and overseas, with a view to doing something for them. After we have cared for our own families we need to think about caring for the Body of Christ and then our fellow human beings who have yet to know God’s love.

There will be more and more poor people even in the western nations in the years ahead. In the United States especially, we will no doubt see more and more homeless people, hungry people, sick people and people in prison. But there are poor and needy people in all nations. Even in rich nations such as Australia where I live, there are people who are beginning to slip through the cracks.

God is against the doctrines which teach men to endlessly accumulate wealth and serve Mammon. Those claiming to be “spirit-filled” Christians have enough money and time to evangelise the world a million times over, and probably enough wealth and knowledge to solve the poverty problems of the world also. But sadly, we show by our actions that we, the professed followers of Jesus, simply do not care. “Tell someone who cares” said one Christian man to me on the Gold Coast who was busy accumulating and building his property portfolio, when I tried to share with him the possibility of reaching India for Christ for relatively small sums through television. At least he was honest with me about the fact that he did not care. Many are not.

Jesus frequently called people to part with their earthly wealth, give it to the poor and trust Him for provision. We don’t want to hear that from Jesus today, but it does not mean He is not saying it. There are grave warnings in the Scripture given to those who love money, but the false prophets on TV are not sharing these warnings with us, because they themselves are lovers of money and the things money can buy. We need to know Jesus for ourself in these perilous times, and show we love Him by what we do for “the least of these”. We can’t show love for Jesus simply by sending money to “big shots”. To give to Jesus, give to a sincere Christian who is in great need. If you are wealthy enough to go on an oversees trip for a few weeks, I encourage you to make a trip to a developing nation and find some church planters you can help – those who are also caring for the poor.

James 1:27 “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. Mammon is money! God tells us not to worship money! Now, if we ask most people if they worship money they will of course say no.. But I believe that it is difficult or nearly impossible to live in the world without worshiping money… because the devil has raised us up in a world that is centered on money. Money is at the root of much of our social condition…where we stand in society. We are judged and judge others by possessions and wealth! The Enemy has made this an integral part of our society.

  2. Anonymous says:

    God is an excellent God right? and so if we are to be CHRIST LIKE in everything that we do of course we have to give with excellence as well as to live with excellence amen?

    in Luke 6:38-Give and it will come back to, good measure pressed down shaken together, running over. When we give we should do it rejoicing not like it is such a drag concentrating on the drag. so many of the comments i have seen are about the lack of being able to witness christians giving to the poor, selling all they have to give to the needy etc. In the word, I think its in Corinthians that we have different gifts and that we should perform these gifts, nurture and enhance them for the kingdom. Im not saying that giving is a gift but of course something that we should do but some dont actually “give with a cheerful heart” however others do. Those who have that strength and cheerful heart to give may they encourage those who can’t.

    Note to the comment about preachers on TV being “lovers of money”. Are you serious? these men a men of the Most High. Jesus is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and those who have salvation in him, have said good bye to their damaging past and hello to EXCELLENCE in the name of Jesus. These prechers are MEN and WOMEN of God who have sacrificed/ GIVEN their time, effort, past dreams, life, MONEY for the kingdom. LUKE 6:38 GIVE and IT WILL COME BACK TO YOU RUNNING OVER. We shouldnt be surprised that these people are wealthy because they are friends of the Lord. Abraham, Moses, Job, Solomon, David and many more people in the word were wealthy and they loved the LORD. Why have we dropped our standard of expectation in the Lord. Dont be fooled by the devil. We are the head and not the tail, above and not beneneth (duet 28:13). God wants us to be succesful, BUT let us not forget those who are less fortunate than us.

    Note to comment about 10percent tithe and offering. PEOPLE ROB GOD WHEN THEY DONT GIVE TITHE AND OFFERING Malachi. Each and everyone of us are blessed beyond comprehension and if you are like me, i still find it hard that HE loves me. 10percent of what we earn and make belongs to HIM thats all he asks. and if you dont know where the money is going to, ask your pastor and suggest giving the tithe and offering to charity. Stop wasting your time dissing others when the working that needs to be done starts with you, give to others/to JESUS and your “problems” will fade in the name of JESUS.

    I agree with the importance of giving to those less fortunate, but please let us not look at others and say something negative because they havent given in front of you. Be honest with one another with short accounts all for the KINGDOM. if someone has a fault and you recognise is, but you dont say anything about it, they won’t know to improve. Their BLOOD IS ON YOUR HANDS and maybe their salvation as well. I am writting in Love to everyone who reads this, giving is LOVE so lets LOVE LIKE JESUS has.

    Be straight up, straight away all in the name of JESUS
    GIVE WITH A CHEERFUL HEART, IT WILL BE GIVEN BACK RUNNING OVER.

  3. James Henry says:

    “Humanly speaking, we could understand an interpret the Sermon on the Mount in a thousand different ways. Jesus knows only one possibility: simple surrender and obedience, not interpreting it or applying it, but doing it and obeying it. That is the only way to hear his word”. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘The Cost of Discipleship’., ch 20. Everyone therefore which heareth these words of mine, and doeth them…Jesus
    “The elimination of single-minded obedience on principle is but another instance of the perversion of the costly grace of the call of Jesus into the cheap grace of self-justification…The only way of ovecoming this legalism is by real obedience to Christ when he calls us to follow him; for in Jesus the law is at once fulfilled and cancelled”.. ‘The Cost of Discipleship’., ch 3. “The call frees them from all earthly ties, and binds them to Jesus Christ alone. They must burn their boats and plunge into absolute insecurity in order to learn the demand and the gift of Christ”. Ibid., Ch 2.
    If anyman would come after me, let him deny himself. Jesus.

  4. hsiaoshuang says:

    Mark 10:21

    Jesus was very clear: sell everything you have, give to the poor, and then follow him.

    I have not met a single christianised individual (someone who claims to be a christian) who obeys this direct commandment. Instead, there are hundreds of commentaries and exhortations and preachings on greed, covetousness and what-nots which ended up perverting Jesus’s simple instruction.

    What’s so difficult? Just do it, as Nike says. Not 10 percent or 20 percent, but 100 percent of your possessions — your condo, credit card, condoms, chicks, cash, whatever.

    So far only RC priests gave up everything to serve the church. I will immediately be a protestant Christian if I can find a non-priest who obeys Jesus’s instruction unconditionally.

    • kevin lkjadlf says:

      i struggle with these words of jesus. i know many, many Christians, but i do not know anyone personally who has taken this radical step. however there are protestants i know of who have. one person is shane claibourne, who works in an urban philadelphia neighbourhood serving and caring for the poor. he has taken a vow of poverty. although r.c. monks and priests often taken vows of poverty the official position of the vatican concerning jesus’ words as not exactly taken literally in regards to all christians. instead what is taught in r.c. social teaching is that there are spheres of perfection, where priests and monks, are a the top. these are called to take jesus’ words about poverty, and also non-violence literally. however for the rest of christians, i.e. the laity, these persons are not called to take such vows, but are instead called to form good dispositions of heart, and are called to simply abstain from greed.

      anyways, go look up shane claibourne. also my new years resolution is to take a vow of poverty for the coming year.

      blessings brother,

      kevin t. toronto, canada

  5. Michael,I agree 100 percent with you on this subject. Jesus said the poor you will always have with you (John 12:8) and it should be our desire to take care of the poor ( Galatians 2:10 ). The guilt trip that some of these Evangelists and Pastors give their hearers about money,rather it be on t.v. or internet or in a church building is manipulation, which is witchcraft. Our devotion to Christ must come from a clean and pure heart ( Psalms 51 ) and also we should and must do as our Lord Jesus did in ( Acts 1:1 Jesus began both to do and teach ) in other words Let us practice what we preach. this application is for everyone, not just those in the postion of authority

    Blessings in Jesus

  6. I agree with you. There is a thing that I have noticed in our today’s society that people think they do fulfil the commandment when they somehow manage to give 10 percent of their earnings to church. But had you ever tried to find out how this 10 percent is actually been used.

    Today we see that the prestige of the church is when the church is constructed beautifully, decorated at it best, located in a posh area; members of the church are well – dressed etc. In doing all this from where does the church manage itself, most probably from that 10 per cent you give as well from others sources too. Yes, the church does try to give out a bit to the needy as well. Wonder what will be that percentage?

    Had our Lord Jesus Christ ever told us to give to the church 10 percent? We assume when we give 10 percent of our earning to church, we had paid it to God as an offering. Don’t you think Jesus will be more than happy when we would at least give 5 percent of that to those who really need it to feed their hunger? Won’t we be more blessed by Him who provides us for our survival? I don’t understand why people think when they donate it to church they had given it to the house of the Lord. Does God live in church? Isn’t this whole world His home and its people His family? So, whom would our Lord desire to give this 10 percent? For the material Church or for His Holy family?

    Had Jesus told us to build a Church for Him so that we can pray to Him there? Or did Jesus tell, “Form a religion in my Name?”

    With Prayers
    Anurekha

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