I desire to share with the poor, and be generous to those in need.

It is way too easy as Christians to be selfish. When we claim to be a follower of Christ, we should be ashamed at how selfish we are and how we look nothing like our Savior, who had everything and gave it up for us. I am not exempt from this, I am trying to ask the tough questions of what I can give up, sell or give away, because in reality I might be the most selfish person ever.

Do not read what is written above as something said and done to earn grace or salvation. As David Platt says, "The Gospel that saves us from work, saves us to work." We don't have to do things, we get to do them. We have the honor and privilege to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus Christ.

"But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth." -1 John 3:17-18

Does God's love really abide in you? How have you taken care of others who are in need today, this week or this month? Do not love in word; love in deed.

"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?" -James 2:14-20

Do not read into this passage, don't make you the point. The point is clear: what good is your faith if it doesn't spur you on toward action. Perfect faith and perfect theology with no action is the faith of the demons. We should want to be the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus.

One last thing. As Americans we are rich. If you compare us to the rest of the world, we are filthy rich. There is one clear command from the Bible for those that are rich:

"Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed." -1 Timothy 6:17-19

If you don't think you are rich, ask yourself how much stuff do you have? How many DVDs do you have? How many cars do you have? How big of a house you have? How much you pay for cable? What do you pay for Internet? How many computers do you have? You are rich. Let all of us who are reading this who are rich, let us be rich in good deeds.
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