“But when thou givest alms do not let thine left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret and thy Heavenly Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:3-4, KJV)
In the book of the Acts of the Apostles, we see a Gentile centurion by name Cornelius. This man was a diligent almsgiver. He was a Gentile, yet, his alms giving was so monumental in the heavens that God instructed the greatest apostle at the time to preach the good news to him. He received an exclusive version of the message directly from the mouth of Peter, the apostle. What a privilege! Beloved, always know that your gifts and acts of kindness to the needy are not lost. God keeps them in memory and rewards you openly. Scripture declares in Hebrews 6:10 “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love you shewed toward his name in that ye have ministered to the saints and do minister.” By almsgiving, Cornelius and his household were saved.
Tabitha, one of the disciples in the book of Acts, was so noted for almsgiving that when she died, the widows and disciples to whom she ministered bade Peter speed to bring her back to life. Scripture records, “Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and alms deeds which she did. And it came to pass in those days, that she was sick, and died…the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent unto him two men, desiring him that he would not delay to come to them.” (Acts 9:37-38). The alms she gave when alive, spoke for her and caused her to be raised to life.
There is only one act that a man performs that God promises to deliver him out of trouble and that is alms giving. “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble. The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies.” (Psalms 41:1-2). The blessedness and defence of alms giving is one that cannot be overemphasized. As simple as the deed is, you fortify your life when you practice it. Time and time again, this doctrine has been hammered on in the Church but some still disregard it, and have left it for unbelievers to practice it.
Jesus in his teachings, expounded on the manner in which our alms should be given. It should be noted that he did not necessarily instruct on what should be given but on the heart of the giver. He taught them saying, “Take heed that you do not your alms before men to be seen of them otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:1). Alms should not be given to receive glory of men! This was what the hypocrites usually did when giving alms to the poor. They drew attention to themselves, and made a spectacle of their giving. The motive behind their act was to covenant their giving – so that whoever they gave to will be in their debt. But as a child of God, you should never give to the poor because you expect to receive anything back from them.
Dearly beloved, invest your resources in giving alms to the needy and do it wholeheartedly. When you give alms, know that you are actually insuring your life against tragedy and oppression. Let this understanding shape your alms giving. Shalom!