Robert Murray McCheyne on the connection between the gospel and giving to the poor. Quoted in Generous Justice by Keller (p. 108).
Now, dear Christians, some of you pray night and day to be branches of the true vine; you pray to be made all over in the image of Christ. If so, you must be like him in giving. A branch bears the same kind of fruit as the tree…An old divine says well: “what would have become of us if Christ has been as saving of his blood as some men are of their money?”
Objection 1. “My money is my own” Answer: Christ might have said, “my blood is my own, my life is my own”…than were should we have been?
Objection 2. “The poor are undeserving.” Answer: Christ might have said the same thing. “They are wicked rebels against my father’s law: shall I lay down my life for these? I will give to the good angels.” But no, He left the ninety-nine, and came after the lost. He gave His blood for the undeserving.
Objection 3. “The poor may abuse it.” Answer: Christ might have said the same; yea, with far greater truth. Christ knew that thousands would trample His blood under their feet; that most would despise it…yet He gave His own blood.
Oh, my dear Christians! If you would be like Christ, give much, give often, give freely, to the vile and the poor, the thankless and the undeserving. Christ is glorious and happy and so will you be. It is not your money I want, but your happiness. Remember His own word: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”