“For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you will you may do them good: but me you have not always.” Mark 14:7
By the “poor” are meant all those who are destitute of the comforts of this life, and who therefore may be more readily disposed to seek treasures in heaven; all those who are sensible of their sins, or are poor in spirit Matthew 5:3; and all the “miserable” and the afflicted, Isaiah 58:7.
- Protector of the poor (Psalm 12:5)
- Rescuer of the poor (I Sam 2:8, Psalm 35:10, 72:4, 12-14, Isaiah 19:20, Jeremiah 20:13)
- Provider of the poor (Psalm 68:10, 146:7, Isaiah 41:17)
- Savior of the poor (Psalm 34:6, 109:31)
- Refuge of the poor (Psalm 14:6, Isaiah 25:4).
The famous British Christian author C.S. Lewis writes…
“Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in theGospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” as quoted in The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey, p. 111
Monika Hellwig lists several advantages to being poor:
- The poor know they are in urgent need of redemption.
- The poor know not only their dependence on God and on powerful people, but also their interdependence with one another.
- The poor rest their security not on things but on people.
- The poor have no exaggerated sense of their own importance, and no exaggerated need of privacy.
- The poor expect little from competition and much from cooperation.
- The poor can distinguish between necessities and luxuries.
- The poor can wait, because they have acquired a kind of dogged patience born of acknowledged dependence.
- The fears of the poor are more realistic and less exaggerated, because they already know that one can survive great suffering and want.
- When the poor have the Gospel preached to them, it sounds like good news and not like a threat or a scolding.
- The poor can respond to the call of the Gospel with a certain abandonment and uncomplicated totality because they have so little to lose and are ready for anything.as quoted in The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey, p. 115
Ways in which you can help the poor can be almost as varied as there are people to be helped. It could be as simple as treating someone to a cup of coffee or a glass of cold water, or providing shelter or long-term assistance. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this and to give you his heart for the poor. Your compassion will grow as you seek God and His heart.
Some ideas… show love to widows and orphans; provide free medical care; help at your local soup kitchen for the homeless; make a blanket or quilt to be donated to services that will give them away; provide shelter or clothing; donate money to trustworthy Christian organizations likeCompassion International, Food for the Hungry, or World Vision (or any number of literally hundreds of other such excellent organizations); care for those in prison; babysit some night for a single mom you know; get to know refugees in your community; take time to listen to those in need; visit your local nursing home or hospital; fix up someone’s house or car; etc.
Excerpts from http://www.christiananswers.net/q-eden/edn-poverty.html
Response : Have you been living only for yourself and your family? In Christ, you have responsibility to help the poor as well. What have you done or not done? Only the Lord and you know.