Summary: Are we passing up some of the greatest opportunities of our lives? We are commanded to preach good news to the poor. Let us realize that the poor are people who are more than those who live in human poverty. Those who are really poor are the ones who are
Why Should We Preach Good News to the Poor? - Isa. 61:1,2
Illustration:Why people don’t witness:
1. 90% have failed in witnessing attempts in the past
2. The are biblically illiterate
3. They leave it to the professionals
4. We shouldn’t impose our faith on others
Ron Hutchcraft, Wake Up Calls, Moody, 1990, p.30.
1. We are commanded to preach good news to the poor. Let us realize that the poor are people who are more than those who live in human poverty. Those who are really poor are the ones who are yet to be enriched with all the spiritual blessings of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Too often we view the poor as those who are lack knowledge, food or physical provisions. Sadly, this leads us to think that if people can just get their physical needs met they will be all right. However, people are poor when they are not rich toward God.
Example: Jesus told the Laodicean church, "You say, ’I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire so you can become rich." (Rev. 3:17)
Quote: "The poor are to be seen as anyone who is yet to find their riches in Christ Jesus. That includes most Americans.
Illustration:For God so loved the world,the poor and the rich, the wise and great, the noble and the true, the good and the bad, the white and the black, those who are in our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the world. Do you love them as He commands us to love the whole world as He loves us?
Leighton Ford, Good News is for Sharing, p. 15.
2. Poor people do need things like food, skills, knowledge and provisions, but they mainly need a saving faith in Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is one reason that poor people are much more responsive to the gospel than any other group of people on earth.
Example: James wrote, "Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?" (James 2:5) The poor are often those who are despised by affluent society.
Poor people are often more aware of their need for help than others who depend on what they have in this world. The poor are more conscious of their powerlessness and their dependence on God to supply them with what they need.
Application: Let us go to the fields of billions of poor people who are much more responsive to the gospel as these represent the fourth soil that will yield 30,60 and 100 fold. (Mark 4:1-22)
3. The poor are often more willing to admit their need for a Savior and Lord. A person cannot be saved unless they admit that they are lost and without hope in this world. The poor are often more willing to admit their need and cry out to God for help. The selfish human nature does not like to admit it is weak and helpless to save oneself.
One of the greatest barriers for self-sufficient people is their pride. The poor are often much more humble, teachble and willing to acknowledge they need something to change in their life. WE are often partial to people of our own social-economic status and show them favoritism.
Application: It is wrong to judge people by their economic status. Often times poverty makes us uncomfortable because of our own prejudices. Too often we judge on the outward appearances of people instead of looking at their heart condition. Many times we do not want to face our responsibilities to those who have less than we do.
Too many times we want to be wealthy and hope that the rich people will benefit us in some way and support our causes. Many of our motives are selfish, stemming from the view that we are superior to the poor. Let us live as Christ would by showing no favoritism and loving all people regardless of whether they are rich or poor.
Application: Let us be obedient to the Lord and preach the good news to the poor around the world who are eager to experience the full meaning of redemption and lift.
4. When people become poor they are willing to come for help. When the prodigal son reached the end of his rope he said, "He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, "How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death. I will set out and go back to my father and say to him. Father I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son, make me like one of your hired men. So he got up and went to his father." (Luke 15:16-20)