Righteous Charity

Righteous CharityWhat in the world is righteous charity?  A while back, I had a neighbor who would constantly tell me all of the charitable things they had done in recent past. I considered it bragging. It is wrong to be self-righteous in the company of others, about doing charitable deeds. This includes contributing money, helping the elderly and/or assisting in an organized event such as a Thanksgiving food drive. True righteous charity comes to you when you do these things from the goodness of your heart, expecting absolutely nothing in return. When you do this, the Holy Spirit will dispense upon you a feeling of great peace, love and a level of satisfaction that you pleased God; a satisfaction that you cannot obtain by yourself.

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matt 6:1-4)

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”
(James 4:10)

“Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:2-4)

(Also see Charity)

Adultery and Divorce

Jesus told us: “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” (Matt 5:31-32)
Today, it seems like couples are divorcing left and right. For what reasons? I’m sure there are plenty of divorces for the one and only single reason Jesus told us divorce was proper. But I feel there are many separations due to “irreconcilable differences”. If we are to be Christ-like and obey His direction, couples need to find common ground and stand on it together while finding ways (together) that will cause the flood waters of the relationship to recede so that both can walk farther to find harmony. Now I also will say that to live a truly righteous life in matrimony, we would have never let the waters rise so high in the first place. In a truly righteous life, a marriage would last “until death do you part”. This is true if we take what we just quoted Jesus and add to it what He says about adultery, the final product being a life-long marriage.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matt 5:27-30)
In essence, what Jesus is telling us is that we are doomed to the blazing pits of hell with every adulterous thought we think, with every sinful act we watch and with every sinful act we commit with our hands, feet and bodies save for the fact that He served Himself up to be sacrificed on the cross and paid those sin debts, in full, so that we would be able to live in His light for eternity.  Thank you God for sending your Son to save a society of sinners, like me.

Baptism and Dying to Self

Baptism and dying to self, is the basic Christian ritual marking the death of our earthly bodies and transforming into a spiritual person living with and for God.  We are submerged into the water (buried) as a dead sinner and then rise  up out of the water (resurrection) newly cleaned and sinless by the blood of Christ.  Our old self is dead and our new self is blameless, but only by the Grace that God has shown us by sacrificing Christ, the Holy Lamb.  Read these verses, below about baptism and the dying of self:

He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”  Luke 3:3

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”   Luke 9:23-24

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”  Romans 6:4

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught,and overflowing with thankfulness.  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy,which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.  For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.  In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.  When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. Colossians 2:6-15

 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!Galatians 2:19-21

From just these few scriptures alone, we can gather the powerful message of the cross and washing of the blood of Christ.  We are “born again” with the Holy Spirit living inside us.  Our past is nailed to the cross and is dead.  We have new life, reconciled to our God, the one and only God.  We shall worship no other gods before Him.

(See more about God’s Acceptance)