The Poor Have Much to Teach the Rich

Sunday Afternoon Musings

Charity 2Great day at Trinity Church today when one church in multiple locations became one church in one location. It was great to have both of our campuses together and to celebrate the great things that God is doing in our midst. Fourteen baptism today and a great indoor picnic with lots of fellowship and conversation. Great too that Aaron Clark and his church from Kankakee could come down and spend some time with us as well. God is good. We are blessed.

The following is from Kairos Journal. Enjoy and remember, what your Lord said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.”  (Acts 20:35)

A Word to the Rich on CharityGeorge Whitefield
(1714 – 1770)

George Whitefield was famous in his own day both as a zealous evangelist and as a champion of the needy. Indeed, he combined his fruitful preaching tours with fund raising for his orphanages. In this extract from his famous sermon “The Great Duty of Charity Recommended,” he reflects on the nature of biblical charity and urges his hearers to action. Whitefield believed that gospel faith is the foundation of morality; and care for the most needy is the highest duty of morality.

Nothing is more valuable and commendable, and yet, not one duty is less practiced, than that of charity. We often pretend concern and pity for the misery and distress of our fellow-creatures, but yet we seldom commiserate their condition so much as to relieve them according to our abilities; but unless we assist them with what they may stand in need of, for the body, as well as for the soul, all our wishes are no more than words of no value . . .

[I]f there is true love, there will be charity; there will be an endeavor to assist, help, and relieve according to that ability wherewith God has blessed us . . .

O that the rich would consider how praise-worthy this duty is, in helping their fellow-creatures! . . . but alas, our great men had much rather spend their money in a playhouse, at a ball, an assembly, or a masquerade, than relieve a poor distressed servant of Jesus Christ. They had rather spend their estates on their hawks and hounds, on their whores, and earthly, sensual, devilish pleasures, than comfort, nourish, or relieve one of their distressed fellow-creatures . . . neither will you be judged according to the largeness of your estate, but according to the use you have made of it . . .

Let me beseech you to consider, which will stand you best at the day of judgment, so much money expended at a horse-race, or a cockpit, at a play or masquerade, or so much given for the relief of your fellow-creatures, and for the distressed members of Jesus Christ . . .1

Footnotes:
1 George Whitefield, “The Great Duty of Charity Recommended,” in The Works of the Reverend George Whitefield,http://www.reformed.org/documents/Whitefield/WITF_047.html (accessed February 10, 2005).

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