Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Poor and Needy

In our Bible class, we did a study on the "poor and needy", which just so happened to be led by one of my awesome brothers. The Bible talks a LOT about the poor and needy. It's all through the Old Testament and New Testament. 

My whole being will exclaim, Who is like you, 0 LORD? You rescue the poor from those too strong for them, the poor and needy from those who rob them. Psalm 35:10 

But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind. Luke 14:13

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

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

These are just a few of literally hundreds of verses in the Bible where God talks about caring for the poor and needy. It's not just a request-- it's a requirement. Look at this parable that Jesus gives in Matthew 25: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?  And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

We can't directly care for Jesus, but we can (and must) care for his people. 

The interesting thing that we talked about is that poor and needy doesn't have to mean financially poor. There are SO many people in the world that are poor and needy. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that every person is poor and needy in some way. It could be emotionally, financially, physically, spiritually. 

It's a major theme in scripture that we are to help the poor and needy. It's not enough just to give a few donations to charity every year or be nice to the people around us. I think it means much more. It means to be actively seeking those who are poor and needy in our lives. It might be a close friend who you suspect is going through a hard time or someone new in your life that you think is hurting financially.

But you know what? It also means that in some aspect, we are poor and needy AND that is okay. It's okay and it is good for us to share that with others. God doesn't ask us to do it on our own-- He asks us to look out for each other. I love this. It means that we are to look after those around us that we suspect may be hurting in some way. But it also means that we have people who are looking out for us. 

What are your favorite verses about the poor and needy? Leave a comment below if you know someone who needs praying for! 

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