Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Think Deeply: The Poor

Proverbs 19:17 says, "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed."

Here are 8 insights/thoughts about this text:

1. "Whoever" implies that anyone who gives to the poor (with proper motives) lends to the Lord and will be repaid.

2. It is godly to be generous to the poor. The poor are the responsibility of the godly.

3. Godly people should desire to do things for the Lord.

4. One way to please the Lord is to be generous to the poor.

5. God rewards generousity.

6. A motivating factor in generousity should be to get repaid (Otherwise, why would he bring reward up?).

7. There is no doubt about God's reward (He will repay him).

8. There is a connection between the poor and God. God identifies with the poor.

14 comments:

Sarah said...

Ha! Donald Whitney came and did our bible conference this past year! Diagnosing your spiritual health-it was awesome.....Just thought that was a quinki- dink!

Sarah said...

ooops! commented on the wrong blog! That was for the Ten Questions.....LOL!

Dutch said...

The sixth thought was brought up in a bible study several years ago and it was met with an add reception.
Is it wrong to want to get repaid?
Is that why we do the works?
I suspect that our Lord loves to repay his children when the humbly act upon something that would benefit the kingdom.
I pray that we all seek to find our Lord's favor and give generously in whatever circumstance that we find ourselves in. Our true payment is in the fellowship with the Lord once we do so.
Thanks for the post!

Dutch said...

please susbitute odd for add above...

also, I am enjoying your blog Justin!

justin said...

Dutch, thanks for the encouragement. I agree that true reward is always more fellowship and knowledge of Christ.

The Once Dead Poet said...

So true. Reminds me of Psalm 113:5-9...

Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the LORD!

Our God is definitely the champion of the poor.

Phillip M. Way said...

good post!

We must always keep in mind though that our first duty is to the poor within the Body of Christ! It is the "least of these, My brethren" that we serve and feed, and suppport as a priority (Matt 25:31-40). Too often aspects of the so-called social gospel take these verses and apply them to anyone who is poor, regardless of their relationship to the Body of Christ. And please note, I am not saying that we shun the lost who are poor. Of course not. But we must start at home, with the Body of Christ, and work our way out from there (Acts 2:44-45).

Too many ignore the poor altogether. Others think giving to secular charities is enough and so sooth their conscience. Some think it is only about money, but all giving must begin with our giving ourselves first and foremost to God for His Service (2 Cor 8:5). But if we are not doing this actively in our own churches and within the Body of Christ around us, then frankly, nothing else we do matters much at all (1 John 3:17)!

~pastorway

Dutch said...

Couple more observations on this topic:
Poet stated that "Our God is definitely the champion of the poor."
I agree with that, the follow up question is, Are God's people champions of the poor on His behalf?

Philip, I hear you on your take, we most certainly need to take care of the inside before so that we we may be more impactful as a body. I was reminded of an opinion piece in the Austin American Statesman by the former Texas Lieutenant Governor Bill Ratlif titled Before a vote, lawmakers should ask, 'What would Jesus do?'
The link to that article is http://www.statesman.com/search/content/editorial/stories/12/11ratliff_edit.html (note: you may have to sign in to read).

Let me know what you think....

justin said...

Great discussion. I am asking God to help me put legs on these thoughts.

Phillip M. Way said...

Interesting article from the Statesman. All wrong too. It misquotes and misapplies several Scriptures and takes them out of context. This makes passages that in context speak to the church and to people seeking to be blessed by Christ and applies them to the whole world, and it does not work that way! We do things for the least of these MY BRETHREN (words in caps omitted from the article).

Part of the deep ongoing problem here is 2-fold.

First, the church is failing to be the church! I just finished preaching a 13 message series on our duty to one another in fellowship, and you know what, churches are failing!!

Second, we have come to believe that people are entitled to help from the government, making the government more than it should be, indeed teaching dependence upon politicians and programs instead of humble dependence upon God!

It is not our job to craft public policy according to what Jesus would do. Because Jesus and Paul did not address politics very much at all! Think about it. Jesus addressed paying taxes. He did not encourage lobbying Rome, or petitioning Pilate.

His kingdom is not of this world, we are not citizens here, we are pilgrims just passing through!

Paul said even of ungodly Nero that governemnt was ordained by God and to disobey government was to disobey God, unless the government commanded what God forbids. Other than that he went around preaching the GOSPEL, not political reform. I mean, he even writes and gives commands to those who are slaves. Don't seek to be free - just seek to be the best slave you can be - "Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it;" (1 Cor 7:21; Eph 6:5-8;Col 3:23-24)! How's that for the American dream?

We do not need political action, laws, etc. We need the church to be the church!!! The church should be caring for its widows, orphans, needy, etc. We do not need government involved in helping us do our job. We have God as the Source for all we need. That is more than enough!

Neither do we need to feel that it is our responsibility to undertake the cause of every poor, suffering individual on the planet. We need to take them Christ first and foremost, and we need to care for the Body.

Jesus said the world would know us as His disciples by our love for one another!

Yes we need to love our neighbor as ourself. But if we ever forget that the purpose of that love is to preach the gospel to them then we have no hope. We are not here to further a political or social agenda. We are ambassadors for Christ, seeking to reconcile God and men. Everything else is secondary and not to be a priority!

We need to repent and get it right in the church first.....then we can move on to other venues of service.

For more, you can listen to these sermons:

Series: A Lesson in Obedience - Romans 13
Beware of Covetousness

Sermons on fellowship will be uploaded in the coming weeks....

When up and ready they will be posted here:
TIME in the Word Ministries

Sarah said...

Had something I wanted to share. Dallas and I have had a hard time financially since I have been staying home with Naomi. We have just been trusting in the Lord to provide our needs. The Lord is showing us that everything comes from Him....and yesterday He proved it in a way that was unexpected. Dallas' work does not pay him on time. This time he was late a whole week getting payed. When we got to church yesterday, I was handed an envelope from the man who hands out the bullitiens. He hugged me and said it was a "love offering". I told dallas about it, and he told me another lady had given him a check as well. Before we left, we were handed an envelope full of money....we ended up with over $500! It was crazy. We got home and just sat in silence....we had gotten a bill in the mail this week for our subdivision dues that was $200- we had no idea how we were going to pay that....but the Lord provided above and beyond what we had needed! I am so thankful that the Lord is so faithful to take care of us! We have been trying to be so content with food, shelter and clothing! We are thankful that not only did the Lord bless us, but that we can share this money with someone else in need, because it was more than what we needed! I do not say this to boast in ourselves, but to boast in the Lord! Who is so faithful to take care of us! We did not deserve that money, we did not even ask for it! But the Lord provided it anyway~ we serve an awesome God!

Dutch said...

Sarah-
My wife also stays home with our child (as well as the one on the way). We made a decision that we wanted her to not have to work and stay home and raise our children. It has been amazing how God has worked many situations out financialy for us. Has it been hard? Yes. Have we had to re-evaluate how we spend? Yes. Has it been worth it? A big YES! God will always provide for His children, it may not always come in the way or in the timing that we think is right, however, He will bless you for what you are doing and you, your husband and your children will be better for it.
May God continue to bless you an your family!

Sarah said...

Thank you! Yes, it is hard! But I am so thankful for this cross centered sacrafice! I praise the Lord that He is taking care of us!

I am so thankful for the way He provides through the body! We are learning to be so dependent on Him for everything! I am so thankful to be in a place where I have to depend on God for EVERYTHING! I am learning that nothing happens outside of His sweet soveriegn hand! This is a hard place to be. But it is a great place to be. I am so thankful! Praise the Lord!

Thank you for that encouragement!

Phillip M. Way said...

PRAISE the LORD!!

As a friend once told me, God is never late, and never early, and ALWAYS faithful.

Phillip