Does God care for the poor?
Jim Wallis took some scissors to his Bible. He was a seminary student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School when he and some classmates decided to eliminate a few verses. They performed surgery on all sixty-six books, beginning in Genesis and not stopping until Revelation. Each time a verse spoke to the topic of poverty, wealth, justice, or oppression, they cut it out. They wanted to see what a compassion-less Bible looked like. By the time they finished, nearly two thousand verses lay on the floor, and a book of tattered pages remained. Cut concern for the poor out of the Bible, and you cut the heart out of it. God makes the poor His priority. When the hungry pray, he listens. When orphans cry, he sees...(Max Lucado-Out Live Your Life)
Proverbs 19:17 AMP “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given He will repay to him.”
Proverbs 22:9 MESSAGE “Generous hands are blessed hands because they give bread to the poor.”
Proverbs 29: 7 AMP “The [consistently] righteous man knows and cares for the rights of the poor, but the wicked man has no interest in such knowledge.”
Matthew 9:36 “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered , like sheep having no shepherd.”
He saw them…
In Africa, the Zulu people have a greeting, “I see you…” This line was used in the movie “AVATAR” when the US Marine named Sully, and the Navi woman Neytiri greet one another. It indicated seeing more than just one's outward appearance, but looking deeper into what needs were prevalent in one's life.
Do we really `see’ the needy, the poor, the oppressed?
When Jesus `saw them’…He was moved with compassion…(Which means to be moved deep to one’s bowels) The bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity. The word `compassion' shares a root system with `splanchnology', which is the study of visceral parts. (The intestines/bowels)
1 John 3:17 KJV “But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
Let the Church act on behalf of the poor!
Acts 6:2 “So the twelve called a meeting of all the believers.”
They wanted to demonstrate the importance of caring for the poor to the whole assembly. “We take this problem seriously…”
Let the brightest among us direct us!
The first church meeting led to the first task force. The apostles unleashed their best people on their biggest problem. We need to do the same…The brightest and best among us need to be working on solutions to meet the needs of the poor, and oppressed!
Rich Stearnes, President of World Vision says, "Poverty is Rocket Science".
In other words, there are no easy answers…It is a complex world-wide problem, and can’t be solved over night!
Maybe it wouldn’t hurt if we Get Ticked Off!
Shouldn’t the inequities of poverty rile us up enough to respond? Righteous anger might do a world of good.
So often poverty exists not for a lack of charity, but for lack of justice—
Why do 1 billion go to bed hungry?
Why do 30,000 children die daily from hunger and preventable disease?
What can we do? How can we help?
Let's ask these questions, and believe God for solutions!