Back Contents Next

Direction: Lay Out Your Earthly Assets for God

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity

Advice: Lay Out for God

Direction: Lay Out Your Earthly Assets for God}


Lay out your earthly assets [wealth, possessions, substance] for God. “Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase” (Proverbs 3:9 NKJV). Give God His due in maintaining His messengers and keeping up His worship. The firstfruits were the beginning of Israel’s harvest; they were the Lord’s by special designation for His service (Exodus 22:29),1598 and supply for His ministry among them (Leviticus 23:20).1599 Although the ceremonial and judicial aspects of these commands has ceased, the equity of this duty is reinforced under the Gospel by more ample arguments taken from the light of nature, the Law of Moses, and the will of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:9–15).1600 For this purpose is the command: “Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:6–7 ESV). Those who pretend to be Christians and are remiss in this obvious duty mock God. This passage presses the Galatians to be unwearying in this outlay for God despite any discouragements they encounter. They have assurance of blessed fruit from obedience to the will of Christ (Galatians 6:8–10).1601 It is not the support or welfare of a few ministers in the world that is the design of this great command of Christ, but the effect this has on the propagation of the Gospel, keeping up the instituted worship of God, conversion of sinners, and edification of saints in every succeeding generation. These supplies are necessary so that the servants of Christ might carry on their ministerial work without distraction. Any subject of Christ and sharer in this privilege who draws back from this duty is not only guilty of violating a royal righteous law of Christ, but is guilty of subverting His government, crown, and dignity. Such effectively endeavor to ruin Christ’s interests and hinder the conversion and edification of souls. Whatever damage thus comes to the spiritual or eternal welfare of souls will be laid on their heads in the day of the righteous judgment of Christ.


Another significant duty taught by these Scriptures is charitable giving: feed the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and relieve the oppressed. This is to honor God with your substance, instead of spending it on your lusts, living high, faring deliciously, or building your nests on high. It is to make your abundance a supply for the good of those who are in need (2 Corinthians 8:14; Isaiah 58:7–10; Matthew 5:12; James 1:27; Hebrews 13:16; Luke 14:12–13).1602


Otherwise All Your Christianity Is in Vain

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity

Advice: Lay Out for God

Direction: Lay Out Your Earthly Assets for God

Otherwise All Your Christianity Is in Vain}


If you lack charitable giving1603 to those in need, all your Christianity is in vain (James 1:26–27).1604 If you are found to be defective in this great duty of charity, your knowledge, desires, emotions, bodily constitution, tastes, enjoyments, life milestones, experience, seeming graces, and duties are all nothing. If you are deficient here, you can never prove the truth of your grace, the safety of your eternal state, or the goodness of your Christianity. “Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice” (Psalm 112:4–5 ESV). Let people say what they want, if they are covetous, hard-hearted, have no compassion on those who are in need, have no heart to give or lend to the needy, they have no true grace in them. “He has given freely to the poor, His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted in honor” (Psalm 112:9 NASB). People may talk, pray, seem to be eminent Christians, and claim to love God and their neighbors. But they may be deceived all this time and not have a drop of grace in them; their hearts are cruel and their hands shut to their poor brethren. Remember the young man in the Gospel and fear your own spiritual state if your heart is glued to your possessions. “But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17 NASB). A person who shuts up his heart of compassion from his or her poor afflicted brethren is a person who does not love God and God does not love that person. “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27 NASB). “But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works’; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18 NASB). Adams said, “Christianity is not only contemplative, but the greatest part of it is in demonstration [by good works]. This is similar to mathematics in which truth is demonstrated by formal proofs. There can be no assurance to your soul that you are in God’s favor without charity. Indeed, faith is the life of a Christian, but the breath that shows that he is [spiritually] alive is charity.” “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1–3 ESV).1605 This love comes from the heart and flows outward, just as a stream flows outward from a spring.


Acts of Charity Are Part of Christian Worship

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade …

Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity

Advice: Lay Out for God

Direction: Lay Out Your Earthly Assets for God

Acts of Charity Are Part of Christian Worship}


Acts of charity are part of Christian worship; if you do not liberally give to the poor, you do not worship God fully. In James 1:27,1606 the word usually translated religion is θρησκεία [thrace-ki´-ah], and is translated by Beza as worship.1607 In feeding the poor we worship God. Dr. Manton, a reverend divine, said, “A Christian has a holy art of turning duties of the second table into duties of the first, and in esteeming [the image of God in] people, he worships God.” 15Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. 16And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:15–16 NASB). In the former verse, the author encourages them to acts of worship on account of their high priest in Heaven. And in the latter verse is another part of this Christian worship, and that in which God takes most delight: the duties of charity, which He also calls sacrifices, θυσία [thoo-see´-ah]. God will have mercy rather than sacrifice (Matthew 9:13).1608 Neglect of justice and mercy rendered the most outwardly pleasing duties of God’s worship an abomination is God’s sight (Isaiah 1:13–17).1609 God had appointed these duties and was glorified by them when rightly performed. Yet, when done by people whose lives constantly omitted mercy and justice, He loathed them. “Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:17 NASB).


God Is Greatly Glorified by Duties of Charity

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity

Advice: Lay Out for God

Direction: Lay Out Your Earthly Assets for God

God Is Greatly Glorified by Duties of Charity}


God is greatly glorified by these duties of charity. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NKJV). By charitable deeds, others are refreshed, including emotionally, and the glory of God advanced. “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12 ESV). In charity, the virtues of God shine forth in His people and they see the truth and excellence of His grace in them; they thus glorify God. Charity causes people to think well of God and speak well of His people and ways. The heathens of old, when they saw the patience and unbroken courage of the Christians under their cruel torments, cried out, “Great is the God of the Christians.” Likewise, when the world will see the goodness and charity of the saints, they will adore the mercies of Christ in them and be convinced that there is an excellence in that religion that yields such excellent fruit. On the other hand, stinginess in Christians brings a great deal of dishonor to God and disgrace on Christianity. This stinginess causes carnal people to utter this severe charge against them: “There are none more covetous than professors of Christianity in bargains; they will be stubborn for a penny.1610 How cold they are! How hard it is to wrench charitable gifts out of their hands. If this is Christianity, the Lord keep me from such Christianity.” This makes Christianity and the ways of God odious to the people of the world. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18:6–7 NKJV).


Sincere Charity Will Be Evidence of Your Right to Glory

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity

Advice: Lay Out for God

Direction: Lay Out Your Earthly Assets for God

Sincere Charity Will Be Evidence of Your Right to Glory}


Purely done acts of charity will be evidence of your right to glory. “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me” (Matthew 25:34–36 NASB). The inquiry in that great day will not be about people’s profession, light, personality, or duties of worship. Rather the inquiry will be about the fruits of their faith and love since the fruits are evidences of faith and love. Their [God-given] faith and love are thus evidences of their right to glory, though not the causes of that right. Someone said, “Here is held out, not the cause of their salvation, but the sight and testimony of those who believe [visible evidence of who is a believer], and so on.” The kingdom is obtained by way of inheritance (Matthew 25:34)1611 and prepared for them as a portion for children, not purchased by them as the wages of their works. The reward is freely bestowed on all who have been adopted by grace. In that day, the title deed that is proof of this adoption will be the fruits of love to those who are Christ’s; words will not be sufficient then. It will do no good for people to say that they loved saints, except if it was extended to all, yes, even the least of saints and proved by acts of love and meeting all their necessities. And that, not some small pittance of their abundance about which they care little. Rather, it must be such quantity and quality of relief that their necessities demand, in visiting, feeding, clothing, acknowledging, comforting, receiving into their houses, and whatever help they are capable of giving. It must be expended to them as readily and heartily as if to themselves and their family because this is the rule of charity: “And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39 ESV). The lack of this evidence, whatever else may be pretended, will finally and eternally cast souls [into Hell] on that last and terrible day (Matthew 25:41–46).1612 Do not deceive your soul with false hopes of glory. No kind of evidence for Heaven will be accepted where there is a hard heart and closed hands toward poor and distressed saints. “For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13 NKJV). There is no room for you in divine compassion if you refuse compassion to those who are in misery. See in the parable of the forgiven but unforgiving slave (Matthew 18:33–35)1613 the dreadful end of those who are in any way cruel to their fellow servants, in spite of the fact that they themselves have tasted the mercy of their Lord. The liberal distributions of your earthly estates to the poor is the only way to make them truly serviceable to your souls, and it becomes the occasion of your reception into everlasting habitations. “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9 ESV). The mammon or wealth of this world is called unrighteous wealth because it is unrighteously gotten, unrighteously kept to the detriment of those who need it, or unrighteously spent to the hurt of those who have it. But the way to change its nature and make it profitable is to lay it out to the poor, who will receive you or witness for you in that day to prove the truth of your love, by which you will be received into glory.1614


Charity Is the Sure Way to Blessing on Earth

{Since the Heavenly Trade Is the Best Trade…

Exhortation to Good Traders in Christianity

Advice: Lay Out for God

Direction: Lay Out Your Earthly Assets for God

Charity Is the Sure Way to Blessing on Earth}


Charitable giving is the sure way to earthly blessing. “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38 NKJV). This teaches that giving to the poor is lending to the Lord, as has been shown above, and it will be surely repaid in this life, either in kind or in value in such things as are needed. Indeed, often it is in the same coin in whatever amount is needed, in good measure, amplified by three metaphors: pressed down, shaken together, and running over. That is, as Scultetus said, “God will so bless them that they will be sensible that they are sufficiently repaid” (2 Corinthians 9:6; Deuteronomy 15:10–11; Matthew 10:41–42; Psalm 41:12; Proverbs 11:24).1615 Job was a man of great charity (Job 29:12–13)1616 and had great prosperity in the world (Job 29:6–7).1617 Though, for a trial of his faith, Job was stripped of all for a season, afterward the Lord turned all his water into wine (Job 42:10).1618 Rahab harbored the spies and, by it, saved herself and family from ruin (Joshua 6:25).1619 The widow of Zarephath and the Shunammite both profited from laying out acts of charity to the prophet (1 Kings 17:10; 1 Kings 17:22; 2 Kings 4:8–10; 2 Kings 4:16–17; 2 Kings 4:34–35).1620 Tiberius II was a person of great liberality to the poor. It is said of him that whatever Justinus, his predecessor, had obtained by covetousness, Tiberius freely distributed to the poor. And, when Sophia, Justinus’s widow, reproved him for his excess of charity, he replied, “I trust in the Lord that our exchequer will never lack money while the poor are maintained out of it.” Neither did his expectations fail, for as the same author reports, he found a vast treasure in his palace hidden under the pavement that could scarce be emptied for many days. Thus God blessed his bountiful hand. Mr. Gouge, in his Surest and Safest Way of Thriving,1621 a book worth getting and to which I refer you, gives many modern instances of this great truth. For the sake of those who do not have the book, I will mention this one instance concerning the pious and exemplary resolution of Mr. John Walter, citizen of London. He had a sufficient estate to live on [independently], and resolved that whatever additional estate God should entrust him with, he would bestow it on charitable uses. After this vow, he found his estate wonderfully increasing. This is a worthy precedent for those who have enough on which to live comfortably, to put bounds to their further purchases and dedicate their surplus to the service of Christ and the refreshment of His saints. This is a course that people will one day find more profitable than to join house to house and field to field (Isaiah 5:8).1622 Chrysologus said, “It is the best way for a rich man to make the bellies of the poor his barn, to succor the fatherless and needy and by this to lay up treasures in Heaven.” Gregory the Great was so devoted to charity that he deemed all he had to be the common granary of the church. It was said of Cyprian that he was the blind man’s eyes, the lame man’s legs, and the naked man’s garment, because he was a man of such great charity. Mr. Foxe, the author of the Acts and Monuments [Foxe’s Book of Martyrs] never denied to give to any who asked for Jesus’s sake. Augustine sold the ornaments of the church to relieve the poor. And Basil, in a time of great famine, sold his land and other goods to maintain the poor. A duke, being asked by some ambassadors whether he could show them some hunting dogs, gathered a great many poor people together and, showing them to the ambassador, said, “These are the dogs I keep daily, and with which I use to hunt after Heaven.” Oh, that Christians would have other games in chase, than that which perishes from being used! May they lay out their estates for heavenly advantage, better advantage than what using them for self-interest can bring. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and give to him who lacks, seeing such blessed encouragements do attend this Christian duty.


1598You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me” (Exodus 22:29 NASB).

1599The priest shall wave them with the bread of the firstfruits as a wave offering before the Lord, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to the Lord for the priest” (Leviticus 23:20 NKJV).

1600For it is written in the Law of Moses, ‘You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.’ God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar? So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one” (1 Corinthians 9:9–15 NASB).

1601For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:8–10 ESV).

1602“…your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness” (2 Corinthians 8:14 ESV). “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday” (Isaiah 58:7–10 NASB). “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12 NKJV). “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:27 NASB). “And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16 NASB). “Then He also said to him who invited Him, ‘When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind’” (Luke 14:12–13 NKJV).

1603This discussion pertains mainly to those in need of basic life necessities, though other acts of kindness are not necessarily excluded. But it is necessary to understand that, in the United States, the Internal Revenue Service designates as “charities” many causes and organizations. These include some such as the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, possibly the richest city in the world. Other “charities” are downright evil, such as Planned Parenthood. Other organizations exist to fill needs that appeal to emotions, but do little to help those truly in need. Discernment is needed; it is not enough to simply move so much money from your bank account to somewhere else.

1604If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” (James 1:26–27 NASB).

1605The last sentence of verse three tells us that it is not enough to do something, but to do it for the right reasons in the heart: for the glory of God, to obey God, and for the benefit of others, without regard to self. Mere ease of conscience, resultant good feelings, or checking off a list item, to say nothing of “bribing” or “buying off” God, render even the most useful activities worthless in God’s sight.

1606Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27 NKJV).

1607This rare word can take on the meaning of either worship itself or religious practice. Although we must be wary of confounding worship and general activities of obedience, there is a real sense in which anything that brings glory to God is worship. Ashwood’s thesis in this subchapter is thus, with limitations, correct.

1608Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13 ESV).

1609Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies—I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. I hate your new moon festivals and your appointed feasts, They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. So when you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; Yes, even though you multiply prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood. Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight. Cease to do evil, Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow” (Isaiah 1:13–17 NASB).

1610The golden rule is the basis of a Christian view of free-market economics. Both parties to a transaction should be better off after the transaction than before. For example, a grocer would rather have your money than his groceries, and you would rather have his groceries than your money. Someone selling something far below its fair-market worth, if not a thief with stolen goods, may be desperate and in need of charitable help.

1611Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’” (Matthew 25:34 NASB).

1612Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’ Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:41–46 NASB).

1613“‘Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart” (Matthew 18:33–35 NASB).

1614The editor is constrained here to correct some common errors relating to the text of this subchapter. First, the same faith that is the instrument God uses for our justification also produces good works. These works are no evidence to an all-knowing God, but to us and others, and also bring glory to God. Since good works are evidence to us, if they are done from faith and for the glory of God, they contribute to assurance of salvation. Second, especially due to the Marxist, Socialist, and Communist teachings that thoroughly infest this world today, there is this false and perverse idea that somehow it is evil in itself to be rich or virtuous in itself to be poor. Also, inequalities in wealth are not in themselves either evil or bad. A free-market economy is biblical simply because nowhere does Scripture give civil government the authority to obtrude itself into honest commerce or financial dealings or to regulate or redistribute people’s wealth or assets. And, capitalism is much derided, but biblical: “Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop” (1 Corinthians 9:10 ESV). “He who gathers in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame” (Proverbs 10:5 ESV). When these were written, to practice agriculture required capital: farm implements and draft animals. To plant a crop, one had to give up the present use of the seed as food in return for future gain at harvest; this is another example of capitalism. It is often pointed out that our Lord Jesus conducted His earthly ministry in poverty, but it is wrong to imply that this is an example for everybody. The Lord Jesus frequently used the capital assets of others, such as fishermen’s boats. And prior to His earthly ministry, He surely owned capital in His carpenter’s tools. And, it is not only businesses that have capital. As anyone who has been camping in other than a well-equipped RV knows, capital in the form of household appliances frees up much time for other things. Thus, nobody need be ashamed of having wealth tied up in productive capital assets. Third, the idea that if one person has wealth, another must be poor, is false. God gave us an earth full of resources by which wealth may be continually generated by human labor, inventiveness, and prudent management. Life is not a zero-sum game because our God is a good and provident God. This footnote in no way detracts from Ashwood’s assertions; we all need to be challenged by them. Rather, each person, according to their own individual circumstances, needs to carefully distinguish between tools, income-producing assets, expense-reducing assets, necessities, and providing for future needs versus toys and luxuries in excess. Here also, we must judge only ourselves with respect to righteous and unrighteous wealth and neither judge nor envy others. Finally, who is more poor than one who does not have Jesus Christ? Missions agencies as we know them now did not exist in Ashwood’s time, but surely the alleviation of spiritual poverty is worthy of charitable giving at least as much as physical needs. This may include evangelism, disciple making, seminary training, and so on.

1615Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6 NASB). “You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land’” (Deuteronomy 15:10–11 NKJV). “He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward” (Matthew 10:41–42 NASB). “But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever” (Psalm 41:12 ESV). “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want” (Proverbs 11:24 ESV).

1616Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper. The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy” (Job 29:12–13 NASB).

1617When my steps were bathed with cream, And the rock poured out rivers of oil for me! When I went out to the gate by the city, When I took my seat in the open square” (Job 29:6–7 NKJV).

1618And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10 ESV).

1619However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho” (Joshua 6:25 NASB).

1620So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, ‘Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink’” (1 Kings 17:10 NASB). “The Lord heard the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child returned to him and he revived” (1 Kings 17:22 NASB). “Now there came a day when Elisha passed over to Shunem, where there was a prominent woman, and she persuaded him to eat food. And so it was, as often as he passed by, he turned in there to eat food. She said to her husband, ‘Behold now, I perceive that this is a holy man of God passing by us continually. Please, let us make a little walled upper chamber and let us set a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; and it shall be, when he comes to us, that he can turn in there’” (2 Kings 4:8–10 NASB). “Then he said, ‘About this time next year you shall embrace a son.’ And she said, ‘No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!’ But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her” (2 Kings 4:16–17 NKJV). “And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes” (2 Kings 4:34–35 NKJV).

1621This work is included in a collection of Thomas Gouge’s works at https://archive.org/details/worksoflater00goug (Accessed July 10, 2020).

1622Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land” (Isaiah 5:8 ESV). This passage refers to those who grow a business solely from selfish motives. But a business that does a good job of serving willing customers ought to grow for the benefit of customers and shareholders alike.

Back Contents Next