Depending on your belief, charity’s meaning is defined.
To the man in the street, charity is benevolent giving and caring
To the Christian it is unlimited love and kindness
Tzedakah, a Hebrew concept, literally meaning righteousness (Genesis 18:19) is commonly used to signify charity, and giving to worthy causes or people in need
Zakah and Sadaqah, the Islamic concepts of mandatory and voluntary alms-giving, are often translated as “charity”
Why do you give to charity?
The Bible gives us the Chritian’s source of love – supreme love which is the highest level of charity for man:
God is Love
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
How did He love man?
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
What does one do to show our love to God in return?
15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
How shall we love our fellow men?
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13
Note what Jesus specifically said to the rich young man who asked what he should do to be acceptable for heaven.
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
This young ruler showed great earnestness. He asked what he should do now, that he might be happy for ever. Most ask for good to be had in this world; any good, Psalm 4:6; he asks for good to be done in this world, in order to enjoy the greatest good in the other world. Christ encouraged this address by assisting his faith, and by directing his practice. But here is a sorrowful parting between Jesus and this young man. He asks Christ what he shall do more than he has done, to obtain eternal life; and Christ puts it to him, whether he has indeed that firm belief of, and that high value for eternal life which he seems to have. Is he willing to bear a present cross, in expectation of future crown? The young man was sorry he could not be a follower of Christ upon easier terms; that he could not lay hold on eternal life, and keep hold of his worldly possessions too. He went away grieved. See Matthew 6:24, You cannot serve God and mammon.
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
How about you today? Would you depend only on giving handouts whether in cash or time or anything material that is temporary to get to heaven?
God’s Word says ” without me (Jesus Christ ) you can do nothing” and in addition His requirement for entry to heaven is by God’s grace through Jesus ” 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2.
It is not by your works, but the gift of God to you – the righteousness of Jesus is the only way to heaven. It is as if He is saying, you must wear the cloak of Jesus’ righteousness through accepting Jesus as your covering before you are fit to enter heaven.
Song of Solomon 8:7
7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.