BIBLE’S MESSAGE UNCOVERED

By the Scripture's Own Writers

Definition

Gifts of mercy, or help and assistance for the welfare of others toward Jehovah God, publicly or privately, either individually or in an organized way. Will gain God's favor.

Jehovah the Greatest Giver

1 Chronicles 29:11-14 "All that is in the heavens and in the earth is Thine;... for all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee."

John 3:16, 17 "God loved the world so much that He gave His only-begotten Son."

Rom. 11:35 "Who has first given to Him, so that it must be repaid to him?"

2 Corinthians 9:15 "Thanks be to God for His indescribable free gift."

Romans 6:23 "The gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord."

Acts 17:25 "Neither is He at­tended to by human hands as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives to all persons life and breath and all things."

Also: Ephesians 2:4, 8; 4:7, 8; Psalm 136:25.

Give Freely, Without Show, to Honor God

Matthew 6:1-4 "Take good care not to practice your righteousness in front of men in order to be observed by them; otherwise you will have no reward with your Father who is in the heavens. Hence when you start making gifts of mercy, do not blow a trumpet ahead of you, just as the hypocrites do . . . But you, when making gifts of mercy, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, that your gifts of mercy may be in secret; then your Father who is looking on in secret will repay you."

Matthew 5:46 "If you love those loving you, what reward do you have? are not also the tax col­lectors doing the same thing?"

Also: Mark 12:38-40; Luke 5:12-14; 8:49-56; 20:46, 47.

Gifts Selfishly Given Bring No Favor from God

Mark 7:11 "But you men say, If a man says to his father or his mother, "Whatever I have by which you may get help from me is corban, (that is, a gift dedicated to God,)" you men no longer let him do a single thing for his father or his mother,' and thus you shove the word of God aside for your tradition which you handed down."

Acts 5:1-5 "A certain man, Ananias by name, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a posses­sion and secretly held back some of the price, his wife also knowing about it, and he brought just a part and deposited it at the feet of the apostles. But Peter said: 'Ananias, to what end has Satan emboldened you to play false to the holy spirit and to hold back secretly some of the price of the field? ... You have played false, not to men, but to God.' On hearing these words Ananias fell down and expired."

John 12:4-6 "Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was about to betray Him, said: 'Why was it this perfumed oil was not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people?' He said this, though, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief and had the money-box and used to carry off the monies put in it."

Organized Giving Voluntary, but Directed by Congregation's Governing Body

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 "Concerning the collection which is for the holy ones, just as I gave orders to the congregations of Galatia, do that way also yourselves. Every first day of the week let each of you at his own house set something aside in store as he may be prospering, so that when I arrive collections will not take place then. But when I get there, whatever men you approve of by letters, these I shall send to carry your kind gift to Jerusalem."

2 Corinthians 9:5, 7 "I thought it nec­essary to encourage the brothers to come to you in advance and to get ready in advance your bountiful gift previously prom­ised, that thus this might be ready as a bountiful gift and not as something extorted. Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or un­der compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Acts 24:17 "So after quite a number of years I arrived to bring gifts of mercy to my na­tion, and offerings."

Romans 15:25-28 "Those in Mace­donia and Achaia have been pleased to share up their things by a contribution to the poor of the holy ones in Jerusalem. True, they have been pleased to do so, and yet they were debtors to them; for if the nations have shared in their spiritual things, they also owe it to minister pub­licly to these with things for the physical body."

Acts 4:34, 35 "In fact, there was not one in need among them, for all those who were possessors of fields or houses would sell them and bring the values of the things sold and they would de­posit them at the feet of the apostles. In turn, distribution would be made to each one just as he would have the need."

Also: Acts 6:1-6; Galatians 2:10.

Christians' Special Responsibili­ty to Their Brothers and Families

2 Corinthians 8:1-15 "This led us to encourage Titus that, just as he had been the one to initiate it among you, so too he should complete this same kind giving on your part. ... that by means of an equalizing your surplus just now might offset their de­ficiency, in order that their sur­plus might also come to offset your deficiency, that an equal­izing might take place."

James 2:15 "If a brother or a sister is in a naked state and lacking the food sufficient for the day, yet a certain one of you says to them, 'Go in peace, keep warm and well fed,' but you do not give them the necessities for their body, of what benefit is it?"

Matthew 25:34-40 "Then the king will say to those on his right: 'Come, you who have my Father's blessing, inherit the kingdom pre­pared for you from the world's foundation. For I became hungry and you gave me something to eat, I got thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you received me hospitably; naked, and you clothed me. I fell sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to me.'... 'To the extent that you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.' "

Acts 2:44, 45 "All those who became believers were together in having all things in common, and they went to selling their posses­sions and properties and to dis­tributing the proceeds to all just as anyone would have the need."

1 Timothy 5:8 "Certainly if any­one does not provide for those . .. who are members of his house­hold, he has disowned the faith and is worse than a person with­out faith."

Also: 1 Corinthians 9:1, 2, 11.

Giving Spiritual Things More Important than Material

Luke 10:38-42 "Mary ... sat down at the feet of the Master and kept listening to His word. Martha, on the other hand, was distracted with attending to many duties. ... In answer the Master said to her: 'Martha, Martha, you are anxious and disturbed about many things. A few things, though, are needed, or just one. For her part, Mary chose the good portion, and it will not be taken away from her.' "

John 6:26, 27 "Jesus... said: 'Most truly I say to you, You are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate from the loaves and were satis­fied. Work, not for the food that perishes, but for the food that remains for life everlasting.' "

Ecclesiastes 7:12 "For wisdom is a defence, even as money is a de­fence; but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom preserves the life of him that hath it."

Amos 8:11 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah."

Acts 3:2-8 "When he caught sight of Peter and John... he began requesting to get gifts of mercy. . . . However, Peter said: 'Silver and gold I do not possess, but what I do have is what I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!'"

Matthew 5:3, 6 "Happy are those who are conscious of their spirit­ual need, since the kingdom of the heavens belongs to them. Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled."

To Get Life, Everything Must Be Given in Wholehearted Devotion to Jehovah

1 Corinthians 13:3 "If I give all my belongings to feed others, and if I hand over my body, that I may boast, but do not have love, I am not profited at all."

Luke 18:18-24 "A certain ruler ...said: 'All these [command­ments] I have kept from youth on.'...Jesus said to him: 'There is yet one thing wanting about you: Sell all the things you have and distribute to poor people and you will have treasure in the heavens; and come be My fol­lower.' "

Luke 21:1-4 "Now as He looked up He saw the rich dropping their gifts into the treasury chests. Then He saw a certain needy widow drop two small coins of very little value there, and He said: I tell you truthfully, This widow, although poor, dropped in more than them all. For all these dropped in gifts out of their surplus, but this woman out of her want dropped in all the means of living she had.' "

Luke 12:33 "Sell the things be­longing to you and give them as gifts of mercy. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, a never-failing treasure in the heavens, where a thief does not get near nor moth consumes."

Matthew 9:13 "Go, then, and learn what this means, 'I want mercy, and not sacrifice.'"

1 Samuel 15:22 "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice."

Proverbs 23:26 "My son, give me thy heart."

Proverbs 21:3 "To do righteous­ness and justice is more accept­able to Jehovah than sacrifice."

Hebrews 13:15, 18 "Through Him let us always offer to God a sac­rifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips which make public decla­ration to His Name. Moreover, do not forget the doing of good and the sharing of things with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."

Also: Acts 10:2, 4, 31; 1 Peter 2:5; Matthew 19:21.

The World's Sacrifices Condemned

1 Corinthians 10:20 "The things which the nations sacrifice they sacri­fice to demons, and not to God."

Proverbs 15:8 "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to Je­hovah."

Also: Jeremiah 5:26. 28; Isaiah 1:4, 16, 17; Zechariah 7:9-11.

True Faith Shows Concern for the Poor

James 1:26, 27 "If any man seems to himself to be a formal worshiper and yet does not bridle his tongue, but goes on deceiving his own heart, this man's form of worship is futile. The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their tribulation, and to keep oneself without spot from the world."

Also: James 2:1-9, 14-17.

 

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