March 21, 2023
Giving To the Poor
The Apostle Paul - “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
There are many ways to be generous. Most Christians understand that they should be generous towards the church, our families, to missionaries, and to various ministries. However, the Bible teaches that we should also be generous in caring for the poor and needy. In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses taught the Israelites, saying “There are always going to be poor and needy people among you… Always be generous, open your purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and needy neighbors.” (Deuteronomy 15:11 NCV)
When we help the poor and needy we are “blessing” the Lord Himself. In Matthew 25, Jesus shared a story which demonstrates this in the best way. He said, “But when the Son of man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit upon His glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in His presence, and He will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at His right hand and the goats at His left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me.’ Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? Or a stranger and show You hospitality? Or naked and give You clothing? When did we ever see You sick or in prison and visit You?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’ (Matthew 25:31-40)
When we help the poor and needy we are ensuring our provision in the future. In Proverbs, King Solomon writes, “If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord – and He will repay you.” (Proverbs 19:17) The Apostle Paul echoes Solomon’s proverb when he writes these words of the Corinthian church: “Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal.” (2 Corinthians 8:14 NCV) This sounds like the best insurance policy you could ever have. It pays to be generous to the poor and needy.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
In your journal or on a piece of paper, make a list of ways you could be generous to the poor and needy. Then, pray and ask the Lord to help you be aware of the poor and needy around you so you might be generous towards them. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, complete the same exercise as a family.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, thank You for blessing me. Help me be a blessing to the poor and needy around me. In Jesus name, Amen.