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Summary: Biblical basis of outreach to the poor

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3 false ideas about reaching out to the poor.

1. You’re not just going for their benefit. It’s more for your own sake than for theirs. You need it more than they do, and you will benefit more than they do.

(John 4:6-10) In Jesus’ encounter with woman at well, who was the physically needy one? Who was blessed more -- the needy, or the one who met the need?

The needy one is Jesus to us (Mt. 25:43)

More blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35)

You may bless them practically, they will bless you spiritually. Spiritual blessings are far, far more satisfying

Spiritual blessings of ministering to the poor:

Experience love of God (not your love)

How can love of God be in him (1 John 3:17)

They see God’s love with them, you see God’s love IN you.

Experience true religion

Visit widows and orphans (James 1:27)

Enrich your faith

Poor rich in faith (James 2:5)

If you don’t go, God will still bless them, but you will be left out in the cold. (Ps. 35:10, 41:1, 69:33)

2. You’re not going there just to give something to the needy, but more importantly to create a situation in which the Lord an opportunity to work.

Silver and gold have I none (Acts 3:6) – when Peter responded to the beggar, what God did was far more than what Peter could have done himself.

Not I but power of Christ in me. (1 Cor. 15:10)

Jesus’ biggest response was among the poor and outcasts.

3. You should not expect to want to go. You should expect fear – you need to trust that the power of Christ will take over & carry you

Fear and trembling (1 Cor. 2:3-4)

Rejoice in weaknesses, that the power of Christ might be manifest through you (2 Cor. 12:9-10)

Gideon, Moses, Jeremiah, etc. were weak and fearful when God called them.


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