Ezekiel 16:49 “Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door.”
Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day
Do you consider yourself as comfortably well off? Are you rich or poor? Do you know what real poverty looks like in our world today? United Nations describes poverty in these terms: “Fundamentally, poverty is the inability of having choices and opportunities, a violation of human dignity. It means lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family, not having a school or clinic to go to, not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn one’s living, not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness, and exclusion of individuals, households, and communities. It means susceptibility to violence, and it often implies living in marginal or fragile environments, without access to clean water or sanitation.” Poverty exists in every country of the world, but many of us do not see it even when it is in plain sight.
As I travel with my work for orphans, I often ponder the role of Christians in helping the impoverished. The problem appears so massive that it is easier to ignore it many times. God wants us to learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable situations of this world. Many churches today are teaching the prosperity gospel, which says if you are living right with God then He will provide for all your needs and you will never be in want of anything. This teaching drives our prayers to focus on our desires. In fact, this teaching makes us question what someone did to lose everything. We become uncomfortable with the poor in our midst.
The Bible mentions poverty over 300 times throughout the Old and New Testament. The poor are near and dear to our Savior’s heart. James 2:5 shows us “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?” When I spend time among the poor, I am amazed at how rich they are in their faith. Our possessions get in the way of our faith many times or at least it blinds us to see the world as God sees it.
What are you doing to help the poor? The message of the Bible is very clear on this subject. We are all called to help the poor. Luke 3:11 states “And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Matthew 5:42 implores us “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” Give. Help. Donate. Share. Do something to help those in need locally or half way around the world. God is calling YOU to make a difference today.
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”