Summary: Who are the Needy? Who should do some thing? Church as it is menat to be is a needs meeting community of saints you can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr
Church as it is meant to be, is a needs-meeting community of saints. I am sure you will immediately recall the following: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” (Acts 2:45-44)
This characteristic of church as it is meant to be, is both challenging for the giver and the receiver. The giver may be too selfish to give and the receiver, too proud to accept.
Meeting Needs is Godly
As we read the Old Testament, it is so clear that God has a heart for the “needy”; “For he will deliver the “needy” who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.” Psalm 72:12 (Ps.12:5; 37:14; 40:17; 70:5; 72:4,13; 74:21; 82:4; 107:41; 9:18; 35:10; 69:33)
The Apostles witnessed Jesus’ heart for the poor and “needy” when he reached out to the vulnerable and rejected, and when Jesus fed the many thousands of people.
So when people came to the Lord in the early church, things were as they were meant to be, and so it was normal to do what God would do and care for the poor and “needy”. “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Rom.12:13 (Acts 4:35; 10:2; 20:34; 24:23; 27:3; Rom.12:8; 2 Cor.9:12; Phil. 2:25)
“Who are the “needy”?”
Is it the beggar on the street or you brother or sister in the household of God? It is both.
Being “needy” is not necessarily all about being financially poor. The “needy” lack what is essential.
What is essential, varies from generation to generation and from culture to culture and from person to person, from day to day.
For some “needy” people, it may be about money to buy food, clothes and to pay bills, bills and more bills etc. For some “needy” people, it’s their emotional and physical well being; for many people, it’s their spiritual need. In fact, in some ways we are all “needy”. So the “needy” are not all out there in the world; the “needy” are also here in the household of God.
1. The Church’s Response to the “Needy”
Should we sell all we have and give it to the poor? If you do that, then you’ll be poor and “needy” and just shift or perpetuate the problem. Perhaps we could use our blessing to help the “needy”? Perhaps we could believe to be blessed more so we can bless more needy people.
Should the Church really be that bothered about the poor? After all, Jesus said, “you’ll always have the poor but you will not always have me” (John 12:11) Should our attention therefore not be more focused on Jesus? Jesus also said, “we can help the poor at any time.” So Jesus expects that we take the opportunity to help the poor. (Mark 14:7) In fact, when we minister to the poor, we serve the Lord (Matt.25:36-38.)
Of course, the church needs to discern the “really needy,” as the Apostle Paul calls them (1 Timothy 5:3, 5, 16.) At times, we may have been taken advantage of, but the seed of God’s love through the church has been sown.
The “Needy” need Action
Sometimes people are good at giving advice to the “needy” but doing nothing to help.
Action is Evidence of Faith
Giving help, and not just advice, is actually evidence of your faith in God. James put it like this:
“Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Action is evidence that you love God
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” John 3:17
Here is a good motto when it comes to helping the needy: “If you see it needs doing and you can do it, do it.” The needy need doers. Of course, you can’t do everything, but if God brings it to you attention maybe you just need to do it.
The “Needy” need Godly Attitudes
Cultural and selfish attitudes are often “go get a job”; “sort yourself out”; “I’ve worked hard for this. Why should I share it with them?” “They’ve got what they deserve”; “I’m too busy looking after my own to waste time on them.” Ananias and Sapphira had a selfish attitude to others in need. Act 5:1-11
I am sure I don’t need to tell you, that when we deserved Hell, when we had no hope, when we needed a Saviour, God gave His Son Jesus that we might have forgiveness, salvation, hope and a future.