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Share Your Gifts From Yah

"Why call me, Lord, Lord, (Master) and do not the things which I say? Whoever comes to me, and hears my sayings and does them, I will show you to whom he is like. He is like a man who built a house, dug deep and laid the foundation on a rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house and could not shake it. For, it was founded upon a rock. But he, who hears and does not, is like a man, who without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great." (Luke 6:46-49)

This article resumes the series on the commandments of our Redeemer and King, Yahushuah. Over 100 of His loving Instructions can be found in the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible. Several recent articles discussed sixteen of our Savior's teachings as written in Matthew's Gospel (the Good News about the Kingdom of Elohim). (Shofar Vols. 604, 605, 606, 607, 608, 610, 611, 612 and 613 as archived at www.messianics.us)

The purpose of these Shofar articles is to assist Bet Yeshurun Assembly (BYA) in coming into the knowledge and understanding of Elohim's standards for moral human conduct. It is through obeying these commands that we demonstrate love for YAHUAH and His Beloved Son, who reciprocate in love with further revelation of YAH's Will and Way of Life: "Give ear, O my people, to my law. Incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable. I will utter dark sayings of old, which we have heard and known and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, showing to the coming generations the praises of jwjy, His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For, He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should make them known to their children. So that the coming generations might know them, even the children who should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children. So, that they might set their hope in Elohim and not forget the works of Elohim, but keep His commandments, and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with Elohim." (Psalm 78:1-8)

In this article, Yahushuah opens a teaching with an interesting choice of words, "Take heed that you do not your alms before men to be seen by them otherwise, you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 6:1) The KJV translates the two English words, "take heed" from one Greek word, "prosecho" (G4337). It means "pay attention, adhere to, apply yourself to what is about to be said."

As an Israelite speaking to His disciples, fellow-Israelites, He may very well have gotten their attention by saying this Hebrew word, "Shama!" In Strong's Concordance, "shama" (H8085) is a primitive Hebrew root word that means "to hear intelligently, attentively, carefully, diligently, discern, hearken, listen, obey, perceive, understand, show forth, witness, etc." This one Hebrew word encompasses the Greek word's meaning and so much more. In effect, the following words of Yahushuah are very important. Furthermore, He expects the students of His Word (BYA) to listen to AND do what He says.

His command that follows is about how we are to share our gifts with others. "Therefore, when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets that they may have glory from men. Verily, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does that your alms may be in secret. And, your Father, who sees in secret, Himself will reward you openly." (Matthew 6:1-4)

Let's examine the word, "alms" in more detail. The KJV translates it from the Greek "eleemosune" (G1654), which Strong's defines to mean "compassion, i.e. (as exercised toward the poor) beneficence, or concretely a benefaction: almsdeeds." This was a character trait of the 1st century church of Elohim (ecclesia). "Then Barnabas ("Barnavah") departed to Tarsos to seek Saul ("Sha'ul"). When he found him, he brought him to Antioch ("Antiokeia"). It came to pass that they assembled a whole year with the church ("ecclesia") and taught many people. The disciples ("talmidim") were called Christians ("Masniachiyim") first in Antiokeia. In these days, came prophets ("nevi'im") from Jerusalem ("Yerushalayim") to Antiokeia. There stood up one of them named Agabus ("Chagav"), and signified by the Spirit ("Ruach") that there should be great dearth throughout the entire world, which came to pass in the days of Claudius Cesar ("Klaudius Kaisar"). Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren who dwelt in Judea ("Yahudah"), which they did and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnavah and Sha'ul. (Acts 11:25-30)

Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon further elaborates that "alms" depicts "mercy; pity; especially as exhibited in giving alms, charity; to show one's compassion; practice the virtue of mercy or beneficence." "Sell that you have and give alms. Provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts." (Luke 12:33)

Providing our material (physical) wealth to the poor is certainly a form of almsgiving, yet our compassion need not be in a monetary form. We can also give our time and energy serving others. It truly is a beneficent act to help one who is poor in spirit. "That then Yahuah your Elohim will turn your captivity and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the nations, where Yahuah your Elohim has scattered you." (Deuteronomy 30:3)

The primitive Hebrew root word "racham" (H7355) means "tender love, great mercy, pity, compassion." This is a spiritual Way of YAH and is a character trait that we can choose to imitate. "Like as a father pities his children, so Yahuah pities them who fear Him." (Psalm 103:13)

Yahushuah's instructions on alms are straightforward. He expects that our compassionate acts will be done without great fanfare. We aren't to flaunt or showcase it by "blowing our own horn" (e.g. brag to others, publicize for others to notice). In other words, almsgiving should appear as a fruit of the Holy Spirit ("Ruach ha'Qodesh"). Such a fruit will be an obvious sign. Observe the "Golden Rule" of our patriarchs and matriarchs: "Therefore, all things whatever you would that men should do to you, you do even so to them. For, this is the law ("Torah") and the prophets ("Nevi'im")." (Matthew 7:12)

Furthermore, Yahushuah reiterates that our kindness should extend to all types of people as we imitate the Way of Yah. "But I say to you; love your enemies, bless them who curse you, do good to them who hate you and pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you; that you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven. For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:44 -45)

In other words, our acts of love aren't just for relatives, friends and neighbors (i.e. the people we enjoy helping). "For if you love them who love you, what thanks have you? For, sinners also love those who love them. And if you do good to them who do good to you, what thanks have you? For, sinners also do even the same. And if you lend to them of whom you hope to receive, what thanks have you? For, sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest. For, He is kind to the unthankful and to the evil. Be therefore merciful as your Father also is merciful. (Luke 6:32-36)

Our gifts from Yah are to be shared for the praise, glory and honor of Yahuah. He sees all BYA's acts of almsgiving and will reward us richly for seeking to follow the words of His Beloved Son, our Savior, Redeemer and King Yahushuah. "Give and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For, with the same measure that you mete withal it shall be measured to you again." (Luke 6:38)

May Elohim's mercy and compassion be upon us, and may we share YAH's love abundantly with others. Shalom, Elder Curt