Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part But when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-13 KJV
The "Love" verse has to be my favorite bible verse. It was read at my wedding, as it is at many weddings. I've never really thought about the verse on terms of charity. The KJV is the only bible to mention charity in place of love, but is it really?
I can remember my grandmother always told me "charity begins at home". I never thought about love and charity in the same thought. To me charity is giving to someone less deserving than myself, I didn't realize charity is actually a great act of love and kindness.
Yes, charity does begin at home, but it also begins with you!
I want to look at what I call the 5 W's of charity.
Who: Who does charity begin with? It begins with you. As a Christian you know your heart should be charitable. You know you should love everyone and be Christ-like. There should never be any doubt or deception in your heart. I Timothy 1:5-6 should be a verse you should carry with you daily. It is one of the most important verses you will need in order to be charitable. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk..I Timothy 1:5-6 KJV. Remember to have a pure heart, a good conscience and sincere faith and only then will you be able to give charity to those less deserving without reservation or question. Be of a charitable nature.
What: What is charity? Charity is love in its purest form. As a Christian you are to give it freely to those in need. Charity is one of the greatest gifts you were given. It is the bond of perfectness. You are to strive to be Christ-like,but you cannot if you do not share charity with those who are broken or lost. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. Colossians 3:14 KJV. When you go out of your way to give charity you will receive charity. Be of a charitable spirit.
When: When do you give charity? This can be a difficult question to answer. Sometimes I find I am not always in a charitable mood. Of course it's not the Christian way, but I am human as we all are and some days being charitable is the last thing on our list. I know I don't always show the love to others as I should. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. II Peter 1:7 KJV. This verse speaks volumes. It is the heart of your charity. It should speak to your heart when you don't feel very charitable or feel like "why should I even bother?" then turn to II Peter 1:7 for the answer. Be of a charitable kind.
Where: Where do you give charity? The answer is simple. EVERYWHERE! Wherever you go be of a charitable nature. Show goodwill toward your fellow man. Show your Christian faith. Show that you can be Christ-like. But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience...2 Timothy 3:10 KJV. You know as a Christian charity should be your manner of life. It is your main purpose. Charity is part of your faith. Jesus suffered for our sins, but God loved us so much He gave us His son. He was being charitable and expects no less from us. Be of a charitable manner.
Why: Why should you be charitable? I Peter 4:8 is your answer. And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Charity(love) covers it all. When Jesus died for our sins He had the most fervent charity as should we among our fellow mankind. Our sins were erased by the charity Jesus showed us. We need to show that same charity throughout our lives. Love is the greatest eraser of any sin. The why of charity is the most important w. It is the reason we are here today. It is our purpose. We must fulfill that purpose by showing the same charity. Be of a charitable conscience.