Summary: A message delivered to our congregation by John Mohan, director of Siloam Mission in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In January of this year, the Lord spoke this Scripture to my heart for a vision for our church ministry for 2007: "The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound." (Isaiah 61:1). I was reminded of that Scripture this morning when John Mohan from Siloam Mission in Winnipeg came to minister to our congregation.
If you are not familiar with their ministry, here is a quick intro: "As a child, what did you dream of being when you grew up? Everyone dreams of a significant role in life. No one dreams of being homeless… including the homeless. With the help of financial donors and volunteers, Siloam Mission is there for Winnipeg’s less fortunate – those whose dreams of significance turned into nightmares of addiction, mental illness, unemployment, shame and powerlessness. Our programs and services meet more than physical needs. They also bring dignity and God’s love to those whom Jesus called the “least of these.” Thank you for your interest in and support of Siloam Mission. God bless you as you help us help our city’s poor and homeless." (for more info, visit their website at: http://www.siloammission.com/).
But the Bible has a lot to say about caring for the poor. Some of the Scriptures John Mohan shared this morning are:
Luke 3:8-11 - When John the Baptist preached and told the people to bear fruits worthy of repentance, the people asked him what they should do. John said, "If you have two coats, give one to the poor."
Luke 18:18-23 - Jesus told the rich young ruler, "Sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven."
Luke 19:1-10 - the story of Zacchaeus, where after this tax collector encountered the amazing grace of God, He said, "I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord."
Luke 10:25-37 - the story of the good Samaritan, where Jesus instructs all of us to be a neighbour - and lend a hand - to all of those in need.
An interesting point that John made about caring for the poor from the above passages was that there is no specific formula for how much to give to the poor, rather that we make sure that we maintain a heart of generosity, ready to give to those in need. Proverbs 22:9 says, "He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor." Proverbs 19:7 says, "He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given."
Remember, as Christians, we have been blessed to be a blessing. Freely we have received, freely let us give. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters (Galatians 6:10, NLT).