26. The Poor

In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Luke 16:19-31

Memorise This Verse: Proverbs 19:17 ‘He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done’

Afterwards Talk About This: Why does God say in Jeremiah 22:16 that looking after the poor is what it means to know him.

Something To Do Before Next Time: Look up all the scriptures where Jesus said to give to the poor

Written Diploma Work: Write one side on why Jesus mentioned giving to the poor so many times.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Proverbs 28:27

The second area to be considered regarding where to invest our giving into is the area of giving to the poor the scriptures are so numerous (and frightening!) that we ignore them at our peril in fact, the scriptures below call into the question the very existence of some churches who carefully look after their church spires and comfortable seats whilst ignoring the whole sea of human need around them.

Perhaps on of the most challenging scriptures on this subject is Jeremiah 22:16 ‘He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me? declares the Lord?’.

How many Christians and churches are there that are claiming to be spirit filled and full gospel yet do nothing for the poor and needy? How many churches are there that are striving for excellence in their music and spiritual gifts and even in their church announcements, yet are not aiming for excellence in their care of the poor?

Proverbs 14:21 ‘Blessed is he who is kind to the needy’

Proverbs 14:31 ‘Whoever is kind to the needy honours God’

Proverbs 19:17 ‘He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done

Proverbs 22:9 ‘A generous man will be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor’

Proverbs 28:27 ‘ He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses’

Proverbs 29:7 ‘The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern’

Galatians 2:10 ‘All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor the very thing I was eager to do’

It will certainly come as a rude awakening to many church leaders who have carefully taught their congregations that they should give to the church, to find out that Jesus never mentions giving to the church but many times mentions giving to the poor. The scriptures below are all the words of Jesus – whenever he mentions giving he seemingly always has the poor in mind as being the recipients of our gifts.

Surely, any church and any Christian would be a fool to ignore these words of Jesus if your church is not giving to the poor then is it worthy of your hard earned money? Scripturally, the biggest area that Jesus identifies to be the object and recipient of our giving is the poor and underprivileged

Matthew 11:5 ‘The good news is preached to the poor’.

Matthew 19:21 ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven’.

Mark 14:7 ‘The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want’.

Luke 4:18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor’.

Luke 11:41 ‘Give what is inside the dish to the poor and everything will be clean for you’

Luke 12:33 ‘Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out’

Luke 14:31 ‘When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed’

So who exactly are these poor people that the bible speaks of? Well, below is listed some of the categories that the bible speaks of and the relevant scripture references as can be seen they are basically the people that society has no time or use for but Jesus has need of them and wants to bring his Kingdom to them. They are the last, the lost, and the least but they are the prize possession that Jesus has given to the church our inheritance are these people yet the church, just like society has turned their backs on them (not realising that at the same time they are turning their backs on Jesus). Is it unreasonable to say that we don’t love Jesus anymore than people such as these?

Prisoners: Matthew 25:36, Hebrews 13:3 Thirsty: Matthew 10:42, 25:35 Orphans: Deuteronomy 10:17,

Exodus 22:22, Jeremiah 5:28, 7:5, 22:5, Psalm 10:17, Psalm 68:5, Psalm 146:9, Isaiah 1:16, James 1:27

Widows: Deut. 10:17, Exodus 22:22, Isaiah 1:16, Jeremiah 7:5, 22:4, 1 Timothy 5:3, James 1:27

Aliens/Foreigners: Jeremiah 7:5, 22:3 Psalm 146:9 Oppressed / Afflicted: Psalm 10:17, Isaiah 1:17.

Therefore as these abundance of scriptures show, giving to the poor is a further major factor to take into account in the investing of our money in the work of God. In fact, in this age where the church is mainly located in the richest countries of the world and the lost, last and least are located in the poorest parts of the church, giving to the poor is even more important. Again, how many churches are spending their money on entertaining their affluent church members and self-indulgent programs whilst the poor of the world are being horribly neglected and abandoned by the church?

James 1:27 shows that helping the orphan and the widow is pure and faultless in the sight of God if we would claim to know God and we would claim to be people who practice pure religion then let us show it by our giving to the poor.

A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations

Pray for Congo

2,943,464 people, 91% Christian

Communism has left it’s mark on the church

Several unreached areas.


This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.

The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.

 

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