July 16, 2009

Remember The Poor

Written by Boyd Bailey

Remember The Poor… “When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 23:22

God is passionate about the poor. Jesus died for the rich, the poor and everyone in between. He down played our relationship with the poor only as it relates to our relationship with Him; when he stated, “the poor will always be with you” (Matthew 26:11). In reality, any relationship we have should pale in comparison to our relationship with Christ. But there is a special relationship with the poor that God expects of His children.

He is looking for intentionality in our attitude and actions toward those of much lesser means. How are we systematically and intentionally reaching out to the less fortunate? How are we investing in them socially, financially, educationally, vocationally and spiritually? Investment in the poor is not an option, or just a nice jester for the follower of Christ; it is a mandate and an expectation of God’s.

Jesus made a bold statement to a young man whose worship was wealth, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me” (Matthew 19:21). We can start corporately to teach and preach about the Biblical admonishments to remember and reach out to those of lesser means. Churches, organizations and ministries who are focused on the poor are critical from the Christian’s vantage point. Thus, how can we plan to serve the poor at their point of need?

Individually we have the opportunity to pray for and provide for the down and out. Perhaps we seek out those who are already effectively taking the love of Jesus to the unfortunate, and join them in their established process and program. They have the credibility, the passion and the trust of the community, so we can partner with them for the sake of the poor. Give directly to families who need to be taught life skills. In the process they can learn how much God loves and accepts them. How can I follow the example of Jesus, and spend more of my time with the poor? “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18a).

Related Readings: Psalm 35:10; Mark 12:43; Luke 14:21; James 2:5-6

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