|Luke 12:33-34 |
33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor; provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.4
4 Sell your possessions and give to the poor; provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. We need to sell any possessions that we do not need and give the proceeds to the poor. Jesus tell us why: "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." If we depend on our excess earthly possessions for our security, our heart is too tied to them, and earthly treasure is subject to loss; but if we give our excess to the poor, knowing that we are laying up eternal and unfailing treasure in heaven, then our heart is in heaven. From the Word of the Lord within:
Notice the word "random" in the above message. Random is the opposite of systematic, scheduled, continuous, periodic, etc. Why? So that you will not become so occupied with your efforts that you lose the necessary focus of seeking God with all you heart; and to sit, wait, watch, listen, and obey.Acts of kindness can be to our spouses, children, fellow workers in our occupation, neighbors, strangers — anyone in need of a little assistance. Acts of kindness include giving to the poor; so with our excess we respond in secret with kindness to those in need that come in front of our face, and/or we can financially support charities; but we don't take up a cause that absorbs our time. Until you have seen Jesus appear in your heart to guide you and bring your salvation, ignore any messages you hear that order or encourage you to spend significant time away from waiting on Him.
We satisfy those randomly encountered needs only if we have excess funds to satisfy them; and if possible, we should restrain our own expenditures, so that we have excess funds available — in other words, we should always maintain savings so that we can respond randomly to those needs that we encounter randomly. Aside from being able to respond to randomly encountered needs of kindness, financial common sense is to also maintain savings to respond to to periods of unemployment and unanticipated expenses necessary for our own lives; so we don't give away any of that necessary cushion of savings. Further, if we are a business owner, we also maintain significant savings so that our business can survive and/or adjust if there is a downturn in demand or some crisis that reduces our revenue; neither do we give away any of that necessary cushion of savings.
We must distribute liberally to the poor from our excess possessions and money. We still have to provide for our families and meet our obligations; the Lord wants us to continue to do that well. But what we have beyond our needs, we need to distribute to the poor, either directly or through charities that specifically assist the poor.
The records of the many purified, Kingdom-dwelling, Early Quaker men and women on this site, had houses, horses, carriages, farms, businesses, etc. They had clearly not sold everything they owned to become paupers; but they also liberally distributed to the poor and to those in need, particularly to fellow Christians, but to the general population too. You cannot hold on to your excess, without sharing with those who lack the necessities of life — the poor, which does not include giving to sects or tithing. The wrong is to have excess, over and above what you need to live comfortably, while being aware of people, wherever they are, in need of the necessities of life without contributing to their relief. Perhaps you have to look beyond the borders of your own country to find those people and/or charities with genuine needs. But there is need throughout the third world for life-sustaining contributions. (Note! People in need, does not include those who refuse to take available jobs and choose to beg instead, pretending they are unable to provide for themselves, thereby harming those who really have needs through sowing distrust for all.)
We must be ready to give up anything that he asks. There must be nothing that we reserve as unable to part with. Those things that we must deny in order to progress, the Lord will tell us to get rid of them. But most things will just fade into lack of importance as we draw closer to God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Whatever God commands, whether it be dying on the cross, we obey; however financially strait, however, it affects our reputation, however ruinous."