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Alms and Widows and Orphans

Alms and Widows and Orphans

By Mark Yow

Alms in the Bible refers to the act of donating money or goods to the poor and needy, or to a charitable cause. Alms is a form of mercy and charity, and a witness to fraternal love and justice. The word “alms” comes from the Greek word eleemosyne, which means “compassion”. The Hebrew word for alms is mattan and it is a form of charity, a giving of money or goods to someone in need or to a charitable cause.

Alms in the Bible refers to the act of donating money or goods to the poor and performing acts of charity. Almsgiving is considered a witness to fraternal charity and a work of justice pleasing to God. The Bible emphasizes the importance of humility and doing good for God’s glory rather than seeking the praise of others. The concept of almsgiving is found throughout the Bible, and it is commanded by God. The giving of alms is an expression of love and concern for one’s neighbor.

Throughout the Old Testament the notion of alms (concrete aid given the poor) is understood primarily in the context of justice; just as Yahweh acts with justice, so, too, must his worshipers. The Hebrew word for alms, ṣādāqâ, means justice or righteousness; giving to the poor helps reestablish the right order; it produces justice. To return to the poor man his pledged cloak at nightfall that he may sleep in comfort is justice (ṣādāqâ) before Yahweh (Dt 24.13). Mindful of the poor, the Law prescribed that the land should lie fallow every 7th year (Ex 23.11) and that the gleanings from the harvest should be left for the poor in the field and vineyard (Lv19.9–10; 23.22; see also Ru 2.2–8). After the Exile there was a growing emphasis on the religious nature of personal almsgiving. Job, in his plea of a clean conscience, asserts that his reverence for God prompted him to give food, clothing, and shelter to the needy (Jb 31.16–23). Alms purge away sin, deliver from death (Tb 12.9; see also Dn 4.24), and bring God’s favor on the giver (Tb 4.7); on the other hand, refusing alms to the poor brings a just retribution (Prv 21.13) because God, who created the poor man, too, will hear the latter’s cry (Sir 4.1–6).

In the New Testament almsgiving is considered primarily as an act of religion springing from love and compassion; its note of social justice also is alluded to, especially in the writings of St. Luke and in the Epistle of James. Jesus enjoins unostentatious almsgiving, together with prayer and fasting, as one of the pillars of the religious life (Mt 6.1–2, 5, 16, 19). It merits a heavenly reward (Mt 6.4, 20; 19.27–29; 25.40; Lk 12.33; 16.1–9) and makes the donor a true son of the Most High (Lk 6.35). Luke’s writings, in particular, commend almsgiving; he alone relates the stories of Zachaeus, a chief tax collector, who gave half his possessions to the poor (Lk 19.1–10), of the Baptist’s advice to share food and clothing with the needy (Lk 3.11), and of Christ’s advice to lend money without thought of return (Lk 6.35). Luke also takes the opportunity of relating that Paul worked with his hands to provide for the needs of others as well as his own (Acts 18.3; 20.34–35). St. Paul organized collections for the poor (Rom 15.25–28; 1 Cor 16.1; 2 Cor 8–9), in order not only to alleviate want, but to break down prejudices between Jew and Gentile and to knit the members of Christ into a community of good will. According to St. James, true religion demands that those in the Christian community who possess the means should help their needy brethren (Jas 1.27; 2.14–17; see also 1 Jn 3.17; 1 Pt 4.8–10).

God commands us to care for orphans and widows. When He gave the Law to Moses and the Israelites, He gave instructions for how to treat the orphans and widows among them—with harsh consequences promised if they failed in their responsibility (see Exodus 22:22–23). In the New Testament, James says that taking care of the needs of orphans and widows is part of religion “pure and faultless” (James 1:27). Caring for those in distress is not optional for followers of Christ.

We should not view caring for orphans and widows as simply a command from God we must fulfill “or else.” There is tremendous blessing in serving and standing up for orphans and widows. In considering what our own attitude should be toward the orphans and widows around us, it’s helpful to remember that all of us were adopted into God’s family through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3–7) and betrothed to Christ (Ephesians 5:32; Revelation 19:7). It is our joy and privilege to partner with God in loving, serving, and protecting the orphans and widows among us.

Caring for orphans and widows is a significant theme in the Bible, reflecting God’s compassion and justice. Here are some relevant passages:

  1. James 1:27(ESV): “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” This verse emphasizes the importance of practical care for those in need.
  2. Isaiah 1:17(ESV): “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” God calls us to seek justice and advocate for the vulnerable, including orphans and widows.
  3. Psalm 146:9(ESV): “The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” God actively cares for widows and orphans.
  4. Exodus 22:22(ESV): “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child.” God commands us to treat them with kindness and fairness.
  5. Hebrews 13:1-25(ESV): This chapter encourages brotherly love, hospitality, and compassion. It reminds us to remember those in prison, mistreated, and vulnerable, including widows and orphans.

Remember, our privilege lies in partnering with God to love, serve, and protect those in need. As we care for orphans and widows, we reflect God’s heart and experience His blessings

 

Investments in The Economy of God

By Mark Yow

In the realm of divine economy, there exists a profound biblical investment strategy, a path paved with promises of wealth multiplication directly from the Lord. Today, we shall delve into five such investments that lead to the abundance envisioned in the sacred scriptures.
First among these is the Tithe, a practice rooted in Genesis 14:20, where Abraham, in an act of gratitude and reverence, offers one-tenth of the spoils of war to Melchizedek. Herein lies a profound revelation: Abraham, devoid of precedent or explicit law, intuitively understood the significance of this act. It was not merely a gesture; it was an embodiment of faith, a symbol of worship born out of a grateful heart. Abraham’s triumph over five armies with a mere 318 men set a precedent, a precedent of divine favor and provision in the face of adversity.
Likewise, we witness Jacob’s covenant with the Lord in Genesis 28:20-22, a covenant forged in the crucible of divine intervention. Through prophetic vision, Jacob foresaw the promise of wealth transfer, a promise that would transform him into Israel, the chosen vessel of God’s blessings.
Living on nine-tenths of our income may seem illogical by earthly standards, but those who faithfully practice tithing attest to its efficacy. For it is written: “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10). Thus, we are admonished to recognize the divine principle at play: that with God’s blessing, nine-tenths flourishes more than ten-tenths without His favor.
For entrepreneurs and business owners, the call to tithe extends beyond personal income to encompass business revenue. It is a sacred obligation, a testament to faith in the One who blesses the work of our hands. And behold, those who heed this call witness the miraculous hand of God guiding their businesses to new heights.
Yet, we, as humans, may wrestle with fear at the prospect of relinquishing a portion of our income. But let us heed the voice of the Almighty, who beckons us, saying, “Prove me!” Trust in the Lord, test His faithfulness, and you shall find that He is indeed a faithful provider, ensuring that every need is met abundantly.
In conclusion, let us embrace the divine economy, for in it lies the path to true wealth and abundance. Let us sow with faith, knowing that every investment made in the economy of God yields a bountiful harvest beyond measure. Amen.
MKBA family let us delve into the sacred wisdom concerning offerings, the second facet of our divine financial stewardship.
Offerings, dear ones, transcend the bounds of mere obligation; they are the spontaneous outpourings of our hearts, offerings presented to the Lord above and beyond the sacred tithe. Once we have fulfilled our duty in tithing, then we may joyfully bring forth our offerings unto the Lord. Yet, let it be known, as declared in Malachi 3:8, that God requires both tithes and offerings from His faithful.
In the act of offering, we demonstrate our worship and devotion to the Almighty. The magnitude of our offerings is not dictated by earthly measures but by the prompting of the Spirit within us. However, let us heed this solemn truth: what we promise unto the Lord, we must faithfully fulfill. It is not a frivolous game, but a sacred covenant between us and our Creator.
As our Lord Jesus Himself proclaimed in Matthew 6:3-4, when we give in secret, our Heavenly Father, who sees all, shall reward us openly. Thus, our offerings transcend mere financial contributions; they are offerings of gratitude and thanksgiving unto the Father Himself. Therefore, let us give with a heart set on pleasing the One who is the source of all blessings.
Beloved, when we give, we do not merely contribute to the church budget; rather, we present unto the Father a fragrant offering, a token of our love and adoration. Let us, therefore, give generously, giving unto the Lord with a spirit of joy and gratitude, knowing that our ultimate goal in giving is to bring pleasure to His heart.
In conclusion, let our offerings be more than mere monetary transactions; let them be expressions of our love and devotion to the Most High. May our hearts overflow with gratitude as we present our offerings unto the Lord, knowing that He delights in the cheerful giver. Amen.
Giving is indeed a fundamental principle in the Word of God, but have we truly grasped its significance and the profound impact it can have on our lives? Let us delve into the depths of this divine principle.
In the sacred scriptures, giving transcends mere financial transactions or material donations; it embodies a profound expression of love, compassion, and gratitude both towards others and towards our Creator. The power behind generosity lies not merely in the act itself, but in the principles and lessons it imparts.
Consider how being a giver, according to biblical teachings, can usher in spiritual growth, foster deeper relationships, and ultimately lead us to a life imbued with purpose and fulfillment. The act of giving is transformative, shaping not only the lives of those who receive but also the hearts of those who give.
In the Bible, giving is laden with significant meaning and importance. It is a reflection of selflessness and generosity, highlighting the heart and attitude behind the action. More than just meeting needs, it is about blessing and assisting others out of genuine love and compassion.
Central to the biblical principle of giving is the recognition that God Himself is the epitome of generosity. His abundant grace and provision overflow, inspiring us to emulate His character by giving cheerfully and willingly, without expecting anything in return. In this act of giving, we express gratitude for God’s blessings, acknowledging that all we have ultimately comes from Him.
Therefore, let us embrace the divine call to give, not reluctantly or out of compulsion, but with joy and sincerity. Let our giving reflect the love that flows from the heart of our Heavenly Father, touching lives, transforming communities, and glorifying His name. Amen.
We want to pray together with you on MKBA Weekly Prayer Call, every Monday at 9 AM EST. Just dial our phone number

+1 (267) 807-9605 Access code 963-651#

Send In Your Prayer Requests every week to be prayed over on Monday Prayer Calls.
See y’all in August!

The Economy of Liberality

Mark Yow

By Mark Yow

” Giving is a foundational principle in the Bible that is advocated for by the Holy Spirit.
The act of giving is not only a reflection of our gratitude, obedience and worship to God, but it also comes with several benefits that impact our lives and the lives of those around us.

1. Purpose
Giving provides us with a sense of purpose and fulfillment. When we give selflessly, we are able to contribute to a greater cause and make a positive impact in the lives of others. This gives us a deep sense of satisfaction and joy, knowing that our actions have made a difference.

2. Cultivates the heart
When we give it cultivates a generous and compassionate heart within us. As we consistently give of our time, resources, and talents, we develop a mindset of abundance and learn to prioritize the needs of others.This helps us to grow in empathy and kindness, mirroring the character of Christ.

3. Builds trust
Giving builds trust and fosters strong relationships. When we give to others, we communicate our care and concern for them. This fosters a sense of trust and builds deeper connections with those around us. As we sow seeds of generosity, we are also more likely to receive support and help in times of need.

4. Financial wisdom
When we give, it promotes financial wisdom and stewardship. By willingly parting with our possessions or money, we learn to detach ourselves from the materialistic mindset that can consume us. Instead, we prioritize investing in eternal treasures and become better stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.

5. Sowing and reaping
Giving activates the principle of sowing and reaping in our lives. The Bible tells us that when we give generously, we will reap a harvest in return. This does not necessarily mean financial gain, but rather a harvest of blessings, favor, and spiritual growth. As we sow seeds of generosity, we open ourselves up to receiving God’s abundant provision in every area of our lives.
It is crucial for every believer to understand and practice these principles in their lives to experience the blessings and fulfill the purpose of giving.

  • Giving should be done willingly and cheerfully.
    The Bible teaches us that “God loves a cheerful giver.”
    When we give with a joyful heart, we reflect the nature of our loving and generous God.
    It is not about how much we give but the attitude behind our giving that matters.
    A generous heart is a thankful heart, and it opens up doors for God’s blessings to flow abundantly.
  • Giving should be done sacrificially.
    Jesus Himself exemplified sacrificial giving when He laid down His life for us on the cross.
    In the same way, we are called to give sacrificially, not just from our abundance, but from our very selves.
    It may require us to give up our comfort, time, or resources for the sake of others.
    When we choose to sacrifice, we align ourselves with the heart of God and become conduits of His love and provision.
  • Giving should be done with intentionality and wisdom.
    We are instructed to be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us.
    This means that we should give thoughtfully, considering the needs of others and seeking God’s guidance in how to best utilize our resources.
    It is important to give to causes and individuals that align with God’s purposes and values, ensuring that our giving has a lasting impact.
  • Giving should be done in faith.
    As believers, we are called to trust in God’s faithfulness and provision.
    When we give, we demonstrate our reliance on Him as our ultimate provider.
    Giving in faith means stepping out of our comfort zones and allowing God to work in and through us.
    It is a recognition that everything we have ultimately belongs to Him, and it is our privilege to participate in His kingdom work.

2 Corinthians 9:7 – Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Acts 20:35 – I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Luke 6:38 – Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Malachi 3:10 – Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Proverbs 3:27 – Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.
Proverbs 19:17 – He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Mark 12:41-44 – And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
John 3:16-17 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Galatians 6:6-10 – Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teaches in all good things.
2 Corinthians 8:1 – Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
Matthew 6:19-21 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
2 Corinthians 9:6 – But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Luke 12:33-34 – Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that failed not, where no thief approached, neither moth corrupted.
1 Timothy 6:17-19 – Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
Matthew 6:1-4 – Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. “

We want to pray together with you on MKBA Weekly Prayer Call, every Monday at 9 AM EST. Just dial our phone number

+1 (267) 807-9605 Access code 963-651#

Send In Your Prayer Requests every week to be prayed over on Monday Prayer Calls.

See y’all in August!

Biblical Wealth Narrative Part 5

https://vimeo.com/776316830/3058d60ed0

Biblical Wealth Narrative Part 5

https://vimeo.com/776316830/3058d60ed0

Biblical Wealth Narrative Part 4

https://vimeo.com/776314419/11936d4d16

Biblical Wealth Narrative Part 3

https://vimeo.com/776310919/12afad6b65

Biblical Wealth Narrative Part 3

https://vimeo.com/776310919/12afad6b65

Barbara Kohler Coaching Call August 31 2021

Barbara Kohler Coaching Call August 31 2021