Giving to Charity

Giving to Charity

GiveYou have been solicited by someone at sometime asking for something to help someone in need.  The sales pitch is given in a straightforward manner with all the integrity and honesty the solicitor can deliver.  The request may be to help the homeless, a children’s home, a pet’s shelter, a fundraiser for police or firefighters widows, a wounded veterans program, or it may be to fight some notorious disease that has claimed millions of lives.  All causes, all deserving support.  Your next decision is who’s using the money for the greatest good?

Doesn’t the Bible say that charity begins at home?  Not in so many words, but it does say that we are to be discerning about who we support with our monies.  Some charities spend 80 to 90% of the total money they raise to throw parties, hire staff, and send out promotional materials to…you guessed it, raise more money!  Millions of dollars are raised, but only a small percentage goes to help the intended parties.  Wasteful, deceitful, disgraceful—yes.  Would you care to be in their shoes come Judgment Day?

How are we to help all those suffering people?  Do we ignore their pleas?  Do we sell everything we have and give it all away?  Where is that happy middle ground?  Giving away money and hoping it will be used wisely is irresponsible.  There are questions to be asked and answered truthfully.  A charity or foundation should strive to open their records/books for public scrutiny.  They should be able to prove that the money you donate to help the needy in any/all areas do exactly that.

Churches used to help those in need.  In this present day, the government helps those supposedly in need.  One was helped by charitable giving.  One is now helped by the tax you are forced to pay without accountability.  God loves a cheerful giver, but God also demands an accounting of our time, our talents and our treasure. Maybe we could follow the teachings of the Bible.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

Warning, This Might Be Confusing

When you read the Bible do you get confused? 

When is “She” a “He” and “He” a “She”?

When you read the Bible have you ever said, “I never noticed that?” 

Have you ever noticed how you can read the Bible one day, and then, read it another day in a whole new way? 

Well!  It happen to me.

warning

This might be confusing

The story of Balaam’s ass (a donkey) in Numbers 22 is unusual.  For one thing Balaam holds the only record of a Biblical person who spoke to a donkey, and then, the donkey spoke back!  Yeah, you remember the story.  Balaam was a Mesopotamian prophet who was hired by Balak, an enemy of Isreal, to curse Isreal.  It all started, when a poor donkey transporting Balaam balked, because the donkey saw an angel and was scared.  The donkey spoke to Balaam about the angel.  Numbers 22:28 says, “Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and “SHE” said to Balaam, what have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”    This is interesting because 2 Peter 2:16 says, “But he (Balaam) was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey–a beast without speech–who spoke with a “MAN’S” voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.”  When did “SHE” become a “MAN”?  “Confusing!”  You betcha!  Read it, and see for yourself!

Let’s be clear.  Donkeys were all-purpose vehicles used for transportation, carrying loads, grinding grain, plowing fields, and carrying people on their backs.  They were usually highly respected, dependable, and had good value.  But most of all they were reliable and dependable, which explains why Balaam lashed out at the donkey.  We sometimes also strike out at blameless people who get in our way because we are embarrassed or our pride is hurt.  Lashing out at others can be a sign that something is wrong with us.  We must not allow our own hurt to lead you to hurt others, animals or other things.  It doesn’t matter if the voice was a “SHE’ or a “HE”, God can speak in any voice “GOD” chooses. Wouldn’t you be, a bit startled, if not scared, if you were visited by an angel?  

donkey                                

Last One Standing

Last one standing

The Book of Revelation in the Bible needs some clear definition.  First of all…it is what it is…A Revelation of Jesus Christ (or Apocalypse) to John, to be written down.  It is expected to be understood.  Much of it is frighteningly clear.  Some symbols are explained, others are not.  The general theme given to John is divided into three parts.  John is instructed to write:  (1) What he has seen, (2) What he is now seeing, (3) What will take place.

The number seven plays a critical role in Revelation.

seven There are seven letters addressed to the seven churches in Asia Minor.

There is a seven year period of terrible suffering and tribulation coming.

There are seven lamps sitting before the Throne of God—Blazing.

There’s a lamb with seven horns, and seven eyes.

There’s a leopard-like beast with seven heads.

There’s a scarlet-colored beast with seven heads.

In the Book of Revelation, there are seven seals, seven trumpets, seven vials, seven candlesticks, seven stars, seven angels, seven Spirits, seven thunders, and seven mountains.

The Bible begins with seven days of creation and ends with a book of sevens!

Reading the Book of Revelation will take you about an hour or so.

Studying the Book of Revelation could well take the better part of a lifetime.

Be prepared, don’t be the last one standing when the first trumpet sounds.

Bottom Line

Just as God finished the work of creation (Genesis 2:1-3) and Jesus finished the work of redemption (John 19:30), so the Trinity will finish the entire plan of salvation by inviting the redeemed into a new creation.  Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.

popsicle