This is not a question about works to get God's attention, it is a question of how to give to others when you are on a limited budget and want to help others less fortunate than yourself, out of love and compassion that Jesus had for others when He walked among His own people. I want to be more generous, but how can I on a limited budget?
2 Corinthians 8:5
ESV - 5 And this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.
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This compassion on the poor is called a grace in 2Cor. 8:1,6,7,19; 9:14. Paul now brags on the churches of Macedonia about their giving to the poor saints at Jerusalem (2Cor. 8:1-5). The Macedonians, though poor and persecuted, rejoiced at the opportunity of doing good to their more impoverished and persecuted brethren in Judea. Liberality commanded for the the poor in both testaments (Dt. 24:19-22 Ps. 41:1-3; 112:5,9; Prov. 11:24; 13:7; 14:21; 19:17; 22:9; 28:27; Mt. 6:1-4; 19:21; 25:34-46 Lk. 3:10-11; 6:38; 11:41; 12:33-34 Acts 20:35; Rom. 12:8-13 1Cor. 16:1-3 2Cor. 8-9 Eph. 4:28; 1Tim. 6:18; Heb. 6:10; 13:16; 1Jn. 3:17) The Macedonian churches gave beyond their ability, and did so willingly, even praying that we would receive the gift. The Macedonians first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God (2Cor. 8:3-5). This is the secret of all giving of material things. When one gives himself to the Lord, he is willing to do all other things the gospel teaches. Paul says, he did not not order them to do this as he has no authority over their property. What they give to charity must be a willing work on their part. Paul took the occasion of the quickness of other churches to help the poor (2Cor. 8:2-5), to prove the sincerity of their love too. The grace of giving was not by commandment (2Cor. 8:8), but by example of other churches (2Cor. 8:2-5), and especially by the supreme example of the Lord Jesus Christ. He became poor for all the churches, that by this poverty they might be rich. If Jesus Christ was a mere man, as some contend, in what sense was He rich and how could He make many others rich by His poverty? His family was poor. He Himself possessed no property from the manger to the cross. He died a poor man and was buried in a borrowed grave. The answer to these questions would have to be that He was and still is more than a mere man. He was God from all eternity (Mic. 5:1-2 Jn. 1:1-2). He created and owned the vast universes (Eph. 3:9 Jn. 1:3; Col. 1:15-18). He laid aside His divine form and riches and took human form to redeem. He became poor and died as man's substitute. He now saves all who believe (Jn. 3:16). They become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ of all God owns (Php. 2:5-11 Jn. 3:16; Rom. 8:17-18 Col. 3:1-4 Rev. 1:5-6; 5:10; 11:15; 22:4-5). Examples of liberality: 1. Pharaoh (Gen. 45:18-20) 2. Israelites (Ex. 35:21-29; 36:3-7) 3. David (2Sam. 8:11; 1Ki. 7:51) 4. Barzillai (2Sam. 17:27-29; 19:32) 5. Araunah (2Sam. 24:22-23) 6. Israelites (1Chr. 29:6-9,16-17) 7. Solomon (1Ki. 4:29; 6:1-38) 8. Queen of Sheba (1Ki. 10:10) 9. The Magi (Mt. 2:11) 10. The centurion (Lk. 7:4-5) 11. The good Samaritan (Lk. 10:33) 12. The poor widow (Lk. 21:2-4)
People (including even Christians) often (and perhaps understandably) think of "giving" in terms of financial resources, but those are not the only means that God has provided for serving Him and for contributing to the welfare of others, or for meeting their needs, and that He will honor and reward. In addition to "treasure", God has also given to each Christian "time" (the minutes, hours, days, and years of the person's life) as well as "talents" (that is, activities or skills that the person enjoys or is proficient at performing) to allocate and to use for His purposes. Even with money, Jesus made the point in His teaching about the widow's offering (Luke 21:1-4) that the amount a person gives is not the central issue to God, but the intent and priorities of the person's heart, and the sacrifice of other earthly needs or pleasures that the gift of that money represents for the giver. And even the most "disabled" person from the standpoint of physical activity can still spend time in prayer and study of the Bible, which (although scoffers may discount their influence) are powerful means that God provides to every Christian at any time for communing with Him, for discerning His will, and for lifting the needs and requests of themselves and others to Him.
I have also questioned giving within a tight budget and God has ministered to me through the parable of the widow's gift- Luke 21v1_4. She gave out of a tight budget. The Bible didn't say she took a credit to give. It was out of the little that she had that she gave. As such, my approach is to weigh the other's needs in order of priority, review all I have allocated in my budget to see if I can do without something (e.g will it stop me paying for necessaries, food shelter and utilities for my family). I can give all that is left once these have all been met. Additionally, I have sometimes given my tithes to individuals in the past since the purpose of tithe is to ensure that food is in the house of God (the church). We are His church body, not the building, and if one part of the body suffers, the whole body suffers. God bless
I'm glad that you asked, we see in 2nd. Corinthians 8:1-6 (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary), Whatever we use or lay out for God, it is only giving what is his own. All we give for charitable uses, will not be accepted of God, nor turn to our advantage, unless we first give ourselves to the Lord. By ascribing all really good works to the grace of God, we not only give the glory to him whose due it is, but also show men where their strength is.
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