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    Now when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.

    Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and for the stranger. I am the Lord your God. -- Leviticus 19:9-10

An attitude of benevolence toward the less fortunate is mandated by God. Most of the harvest may be claimed by the farmer but a portion is set aside for the needy.


    If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?” -- James 2:15-16

An empty-handed expression of concern is cold comfort, and a hollow benevolence. What use is it?


    “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

    “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” -- Matthew 6:2-4

In charitable work, people often do the right things for the wrong reasons - whether because charity is expected of them, to win the praise of others, or to avoid being pestered. Jesus asked that we do good for goodness’ sake.


A Christian is someone who doesn’t necessarily believe that good fences make good neighbors. More than anyone, Christians should seek to break down the walls of race.

    Opening his mouth, Peter said:

    “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him.”

Peter said these words by way of welcoming Cornelius, a Gentile. The benevolence of Peter didn’t from some sort of spontaneous goodness on his part, but from Christ and due to the encouragement of his fellow apostles.



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