• Topic > Ethical Issues > Poverty >

    How can we use the wealth God has given us?

    The Bible makes it clear that God calls us to offer care and compassion for the poor. The Old Testament prophets were burdened for the poor. In fact, Isaiah told God’s people that it was better to help the needy than to fast.

    Consider the Poor

    The year was 1780, and Robert Raikes had a burden for the poor, illiterate children in his London neighborhood. He noticed that nothing was being done to help these children, so he set out to make a difference.

    He hired some women to set up schools for them on Sunday. Using the Bible as their textbook, the teachers taught the poorest children of London to read and introduced them to the wisdom of the Bible. Soon about 100 children were attending these classes and enjoying lunch in a safe, clean environment. These “Sunday schools,” as they were soon called, eventually touched…

    Blessing What God Blesses

    In 2014, something called the Multidimensional Poverty helped researchers determine that there are 1.6 billion poor people on earth! When you read through Scripture, it soon becomes clear that God has always had a particular concern for the poor, the forgotten, and the vulnerable (Deuteronomy 10:18, 15:11). And when Jesus spoke His Sermon on the Mount, it’s not surprising that He first blesses the poor (Matthew 5:3). So if we’re to be about God’s business, shouldn’t we bless those who God blesses?

    I’ve Come to Help

    Reporter Jacob Riis’s vivid descriptions of poverty in 19th-century New York City horrified a generally complacent public. His book How the Other Half Lives combined his writing with his own photographs to paint a picture so vivid that the public could not escape the certainty of poverty’s desperate existence. The third of fifteen children himself, Riis wrote so effectively because he had lived in that world of terrible despair.

                     Shortly after the release of his book, he received a card from a young man just beginning his political career. The note read simply, “I have read your book, and I…

    Devouring the Poor

    In great cities,” noted Nathaniel Hawthorne, “it is unfortunately the case, that the poor are compelled to be the neighbors and fellow-lodgers of the vicious.” Hawthorne was writing about the slums of early 19th-century London, but his observation is timeless. Those among us who lack money tend to congregate in neighborhoods marred by crime and human exploitation.

    New Way of Seeing

    God has given me new things to treasure and value since I left the US for Uganda 6 years ago. Some of the interests and things that I truly enjoyed before moving to my new ministry have, to my surprise, been replaced. I haven’t even missed American football—my favorite sport! Nor have I missed many things that my birth country’s culture suggests are necessary for fulfillment, significance, and happiness.

    Reaching the Margins

    In Mumbai, India, a boy named Lakhan lives with his elderly grandmother, Sakubai. Lakhan has cerebral palsy and is deaf. With no home or family to help care for him and Sakubai, they slept on the pavement behind a small bus stop. A published photo shows 9-year-old Lakhan tied to a pole—the only way his grandmother could ensure his safety when she went out to search for work. Sakubai explained her drastic action: “[Lakhan] is deaf, so he would not be able to hear the traffic coming. If he ran onto the road, he’d get killed.” Thankfully, a group that…

    God is at work, even in the darkest places–Renee’s Story

    In some parts of the world, people are bought and sold with little or no regard for their value. Surrounded by so much anguish, how can one person make a difference? Renée’s heart’s desire was to do just that—to use her life to serve others. We would like to thank Adventure Christian Church in Sacramento,…

    flood of justice

    God judges sin because he loathes what it does to us and to others. There is no other motive in God, nothing deeper than His love for us. He wants us to loathe sin, too—and be its executioner. If we won’t, he will!” —David Roper (Elijah: A Man Like Us)

    Practical tools for living out Jesus’ calling to care for the poor

    “Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be secret; and your Father who sees in secret will himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:2-4).

    How we can respond to the needs of others today

    “Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be secret; and your Father who sees in secret will himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:2-4).

    IDEA: The God of the Bible and the people of God demonstrated a commendable concern for the needy.

    PURPOSE: To help listeners understand that Jesus assumes a concern for the poor.

    Jesus’ mandate to help the poor is a critical issue for our lives today

    The God of the Bible and the people of God demonstrated a commendable concern for the needy.
    "But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be secret; and your Father who sees in secret will himself reward you openly”

    What is our role in giving to the poor?

    Understand that Jesus assumes a concern for the poor.

    "Assuredly I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be secret;"