BIBLE READING: PROVERBS 19:17-20
“But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 1 John 3:17(NKJV).
We are still on the subject of ending the year 2020 well, and finishing strong by adhering to principles. One of these principles that has been misunderstood is that of giving to the needy or poor, which we will discuss today.
The bedrock of Christianity is love and sacrifice as Jesus modeled for us. God loved the world and gave us His only begotten Son as ransom for our redemption. While Jesus Christ was on earth He demonstrated love by giving to those who were hungry and thirsty both spiritually and physically and ultimately gave His life on the cross- Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13 (NIV)
Giving is bringing an offering or a freewill gift to a person or an organization. It can be in the form of money, clothing, food or almost anything else you are prompted to give. In God’s system, you increase by sowing seeds for a harvest. The covenant we have with God is one of financial dominion. It is God’s instrument to keep us from financial struggles, and it overrides any economic circumstance. There are different forms of giving which include: giving to God (Kingdom promotion), giving to God’s servants, giving to the poor, giving to one another, etc. Our focus today is on giving to the poor.
Giving to the poor is just offering your own substance to help those in need. It can be someone you know or an organization that offers support to those who are struggling. Christians are commanded to help one another but we are also called to help those who are less fortunate than we are. Proverbs 21:13 is among the most powerful calls from God to help those who are hungry because, “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered” (NIV). Job wrote, “because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them” Job 29:12(NIV). We also need to, “speak up,” for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” Prov. 31:8-9 (NIV). In fact, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern” Prov. 29:7(NIV).
Concerning the rich, helping the poor is imperative as Paul told Timothy to, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” 1 Tim. 6:18-19 (NIV). How interesting that the wisest man who ever lived (save for Christ who was both God and Man) wrote more on helping the poor than anyone. He wrote much about the wisdom of helping the poor, although he was the richest man who had ever lived. Was his wealth and generosity a coincidence? God does not believe in coincidences, He blesses those who bless others. That is no coincidence, it is cause and effect. This is what Ecclesiastes 11:1(NIV) means, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.”
As the year winds up, borrow a leaf from the wisest man and cast your bread on many waters by meeting the needs of the poor and needy within your circle of influence.
Commit to help someone who cannot repay you with your time, resources, expertise, comfort, or speak for the less privileged to the glory of God.