Summary: This is a teaching to equip the church about care for the poor
GOD-LIKE IN CARING FOR THE POOR
How do mature disciples respond to the poor?
With compassion showing God’s love with acts of kindness and goodness.
Disciples of Christ follow their Lord who cares for the poor. We are called to stand for justice. Biblical justice means lifting the bonds of oppression, identifying with the cause of the poor and meeting the needs of the downtrodden
What is God’s will towards Poverty?
“However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.” Deuteronomy 15:4-6 (NIV)
Why are there poor in the world?
1.Some are poor by Choice.
2.Because of Calamity.
3.Because of Sin and Laziness
4.Because of Oppression from the rich and powerful
But we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a fallen world instead: marred by sin, greed, and selfishness.
“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” Deut. 15:11 (NIV)
How were the poor shown kindness and goodness in the OT?
1.Every third year a tithe was given for the care of the poor (Deut. 14:28, 29; 26:12).
2.The poor were free to have use of all that grew spontaneously in the field or vineyard during the Sabbatic year (Exo. 23:10; Lev. 25:5,6).
3.Every year, the poor were allowed to glean on the fields and vineyards; the corners of the field were to be left for them, and if a sheaf was forgotten, it belongs to the poor (Lev. 19:9,10; 23:22; 24:19).
4.The poor can eat fruit and ripe grain in the field, but should not be carried away (Deut. 23:24, 25)
5.The poor were invited to participate in the annual Feast of Weeks – Tabernacles (Deut 16:9-12)
6.Every 7th year debts were released (Deut 15:1); Jewish slaves were set free on the 7th year of service; during Jubilee all lands were returned to their original owners (Lev 25:8-7)
How were the poor shown kindness and goodness in the NT?
1.Jesus started His ministry saying He came to preach to the poor (Luke 4:18ff)
2.Jesus gave Matthew 25:31ff to show that God expects His people to care for the poor.
3.The early church cared for their poor (Acts 2, 4, 6).
4.Paul continued this care in His ministry to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:10).
5.Paul instructed churches to care for their poor.
6.James talked about pure religion in 1:27
What happens should we show kindness and goodness today?
1.Repent of our disdain an disgust toward the poor. Luke 14:12-14
2.Identify and stand for the poor, just like Jesus (2 Cor 8:9)
3.Live a compassionate lifestyle.
4.Be a good news to the poor.
5.Preach the good news to the poor.
When we do:
1.God is glorified.
2.We receive God’s commendation.
3.God enriches our lives.
4.People are brought to God’s kingdom.