[Column] There will be Rewards in Charity towards the Poor

I visited New Delhi, India a few years back for the International Christian Leaders Forum. It grieved my heart to see many children begging for food and manual laborers eating gruel with their hands in the street. I have learned from my visits to various countries around the world and seeing the poor how blessed I was and how crucial it is to share my blessing. Global famine is a serious problem. Everyday over a billion people go to sleep on an empty stomach; over 1.4 billion people live on less than a dollar a day; the U.N. reports that 1.35 billion people have no access to potable water and 2.3 billion live where there is no proper drainage system; currently over 300 million children are orphan or homeless; out of 360 million children, 34,000 of them die everyday of famine and diseases; the average lifespan in Afghanistan is 44 and 53% of its people live hand to mouth; there, only 3% of the female population are literate and women die every 30 minutes of pregnancy complications. In North Korea, the average monthly salary of blue collar workers is $3 and that of military pilots is $10. Yet I saw on the news that the underwear and a ceramic set manufactured in South Korea sell for $90 and $250 in North Korea. In Haiti, people eat mud biscuits to relieve hunger against famine.

In a village was a spring. Every villager drank its delicious water. Then the owner of the spring put a fence around it to enjoy the water only for himself and prevent the villagers from drinking it. Surprisingly, the spring gradually dried up after a year and soon there was no more water in the spring. The greedy owner did not know that water must be drawn out constantly in order for a spring to survive. Standing water goes bad but flowing water does not. This is the law of nature. The Bible strictly trains us to give first. God commanded that the best of the fruits be offered unto Him (Exodus 23:19). He commanded that we offer unto Him what is best, not the unused portions. We must first give to God. However, we can give unused portions to the poor. The owner of the vineyard instructs to not go over the vines again when harvesting but leave some for people. He even orders to not go over a sheaf but to leave it for the foreigners, widows, and the fatherless. His message is clear: Live the life of giving and sharing.
Proverbs 19:17 says “He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.” God calls being kind to the poor “lending to the Lord” and promises His reward. He who helps the poor comes to know God (Jeremiah 22:16, Proverbs 17:5), enjoys abundant material blessing (Proverbs 28:27, Deuteronomy 15:4-7), lays up treasures in Heaven (Luke 12:33), and becomes prosperous (Proverbs 11:24-25). He who does charity is blessed for generations. Psalms 37:25-26 read, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be a blessing.”

There is an English proverb, “Money, like manure, does no good till it is spread.” There is a statistic showing that the donation of 1% of income by all Christians to the cause of poverty relief can improve the quality of life for the poor around the world by 50% in one year. Those who have must share first. Share your faith and gospel messages. Share your love and material blessings. Give 1% of your earning to the poor and the less fortunate. It will be a seed of God’s blessing. The Bible assures us, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). God’s Word is infallible. If you are merciful towards the poor, blessing will be upon you and your children in this age and the coming age.

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