I.         Read Lk 10:25-37

            A.        We understand that God wants us to be charitable to those around us

            B.        But when faced with opportunities we often hesitate

                        1.         Does this person really need help?

                        2.         Is it part of a complex con-game?

                        3.         Was it brought on by their own foolishness?

                        4.         The government has programs to help such people

                        5.         Shouldn’t the church take care of it?

            C.        I sometimes wonder what we would have done if this took place today. Read the article from paper. [Appears at the end of this outline.]

II.        For what is the church responsible?

            A.        Short term

                        1.         A famine in Jerusalem caused disciples to send aid - Acts 11:27-30

                        2.         Funds were collected by congregations and sent by representatives - I Cor. 16:1-4

                        3.         The members gave generously and cheerfully - II Cor. 8:1-4

                        4.         But notice all of this was for other Christians - II Cor. 9:1-6

                        5.         Paul explained that it was a kind of repayment to the saints in Jerusalem who sent out preachers to teach God’s word, paying for the expense from their own pockets. - Rom. 15:25-27

                        6.         Characteristics:

                                    a.         It was a truly severe need. It took years to collect and send the aid.

                                    b.         It was for the benefit of other Christians. Our brothers and sisters.

                                    c.         The Christians made sure the funds arrived and were distributed to those who needed help.

                                    d.         This is not a case of putting a $200 check in the mail!

            B.        Long term

                        1.         Believers sold excess possessions to help support the needy Christians in their midst - Acts 2:44-45

                        2.         The local congregation handled the distribution - Acts. 4:32-35

                        3.         For efficiency, deacons were selected to handle the distribution - Acts 6:1-7

                                    a.         This is the first passage that describes the needy (widows)

                                    b.         And the frequency of aid (daily)

                        4.         Details are given in I Tim. 5:3-16

                                    a.         Widows without family

                                    b.         Too old to support themselves

                                    c.         A faithful Christian who is a good example to others (i.e. one who can help teach other women how to be good Christians)

III.       The tragedy is that charity often stops there

            A.        People believe giving to the church relieves them of any responsibility.

                        1.         The church’s funds are restricted to specific situations

                        2.         But the individual has no such restriction!

                        3.         You can’t pass off your responsibility, else you are no better than the Levite

            B.        Some people mistakenly believe that if the church is restricted in whom it can help, then I must be as well.

                        1.         We will shortly show the fallacy of this idea

                        2.         But I charge that you are no better than the Priest. You can’t hide behind a screen of “I’m not allowed to.”

            C.        God desires it

                        1.         Heb. 13:16 - God is pleased with a sacrifice of sharing our abundance with others

                        2.         God expects us to undo the consequences of sinful men - Isa. 58:6-12

                        3.         We can’t love God and not help our fellow men - I Jn 3:17

            D.        We must help all we can

                        1.         Jesus explained in the parable that all men are our neighbors and should be helped. Gal. 6:10 - Do good to all, especially our brethren.

                        2.         Help the orphans and the widows - James 1:27. It is not just a “church” problem. It is your responsibility! It is God’s command to you.

                        3.         Even if we are forced, we should generously help - Mt. 5:38-42

                        4.         Even our enemies should be helped - Pr. 25:21-22. There is no more effective way of persuading a person to give up their wicked ways.

                        5.         Give to the poor, even if it means giving up some of what we have - Lk. 12:33-34

                        6.         Paul used himself as an example, doing extra work to help the weak - Acts 20: 34-35

            E.        Those who have been abundantly supplied by God, must make use of their bounty

                        1.         I Tim. 6:18 - The rich should be ready to share and willing to give

                        2.         Lk 3:11 - We must share our abundance.

            F.        God will reward in like kind

                        1.         Lk. 6:38 - Give generously. Beyond expectations.

                        2.         When we give to poor, we will not lack - Pr. 28:27

                        3.         If we ignore the poor, then when we are need we will find a similar response - Pr. 21:13

                        4.         Eccl. 11:1-2 - If we are generous, helping many people, we are investing in our own security. The one we help today may be able to help us in our needs.

Witness Says Attacker Tried to Sell Jumper

            Detroit (AP) – A man who beat a woman after a traffic accident tried to sell her to onlookers on a bridge, saying “she has to pay for may car,” a witness said Friday.

            Harvey Mayberry told the Associated Press that a few people cheered the deadly attack, but most were appalled and too terrified to get between the victim and her enraged attacker.

            “It’s not that people didn’t want to help. We were in a position where we could not help,” he said.

            Deletha Word, 33, drowned in the predawn hours on Aug. 19 after she apparently jumped form the Belle Isle bridge into the Detroit River. Martell Welch, 19, was charged with second-degree murder. Police say the attack followed a minor traffic accident.

            Mayberry, 40, had been driving over the bridge with a woman when they came upon the crowd in the middle of the road. About 15 to 20 people watched in horror as a man slugged, kicked and choked Ms. Word, who was wearing only black g-string panties, Mayberry said. Police said Ms. Word lost her clothes when Welch pulled her from her car.

            “He had taken her head and rammed it up against the hood of the car,” Mayberry recalled. Ms. Word was bleeding from the mouth and nose and was heavily bruised, he said.

            At the same time, three men who appeared to be friends of the attacker were vandalizing Ms. Word’s car.

            The stocky attacker then grabbed Ms. Word by the waist, lifted her off the ground and carried her into the middle of the crowd and offered her for sale, Mayberry said.

            Richard Padzieski, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor, said Mayberry’s allegation that the suspect offered Ms. Word to the crowd was new.

            “Either his memory has improved or he’s embellishing,” Padzieski said.

            He said the attacker then threw the woman to the pavement, beat her some more and dragged her toward the edge of the bridge, Mayberry said. “He said,’I ought to throw you over the bridge.’”

            One of the man’s companions then walked over to Ms. Word and tried to comfort her; she got up and started walking away.

            The attacker then went after the woman with a car jack and said “I’m going to kill you,” Mayberry recalled. Ms. Word walked to the edge of the bridge and jumped just as the attacker was about to hit her with the jack, he said.

            Mayberry said Ms. Word didn’t say anything during the attack.

            Stewart said other witnesses have said the attacker wielded a tire iron against the car but had put it away before Ms. Word jumped into the river.

            Mayberry said two men in the crowd jumped into the water to rescue Ms. Word, but that she apparently thought they also meant harm.

            Only a few teen-agers in the crowd cheered the attack, while most of the onlookers were shocked, he said.

            The bystanders were intimidated by the attacker, as well as the three men with him, Mayberry said, “I wanted to help her, but I was simply afraid.”