"Remember The Poor"
In Galatians 2:10 we read, “Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.” God loves the poor and so should we. “Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” (Psalm 41:1) The word poor is in 199 verses in our King James Bible. Why does God allow so many of His creation to be poor? He could make them rich, great and powerful. He could pile wealth at their door just as he piled the quails around the camp of Israel. (Numbers 11) Even Jesus Himself was poor when He lived on earth. “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20)
Some are poor because they are lazy. In Proverbs 10:4 we read, “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.” God has ordered that he who will not work shall not eat. “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) God always blesses the efforts of a hard working person.
Some are poor because someone else has become rich at their expense.
How unjust and even diabolical it is, but often the rich have become rich by the labor of the poor. God said of the rich. “Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.” (James 5:5) We must care more about people than about that which we cannot take beyond the grave. We cannot trust in material things. Many are so interested in accumulating more that they neglect their spiritual life and also take advantage of other people.
Some are poor because of the poor choices they make. “Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.” (Proverbs 13:23) Much of the poverty of the poor arises from the lack of good management! When some people get anything, they speedily spend it; and its feast or famine. May God teach us the importance of "Making Wise Choices." We must, (1) Choose the right way, (2) Choose the right attitudes, and (3) Choose the right company.
Some are poor to give us an opportunity to be like Jesus. Jesus went about doing good and we can do the same. “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38) We can and should do good to others. “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:31-40)
Some are poor so that we can be happy by showing them mercy. “He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” (Proverbs 14:21) If we truly love Christ, we will care for those who are loved by Him. It is our duty and our Christian privilege to help the poor. Let us show the love of Jesus as we help others with a willing hand and a loving heart. “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
God chose the poor of this world. “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (James 2:5) God's character is presented as a model for our own. If God values the poor, we must think about what that means for us. The love and mercy of God has redeemed humanity, but it is the responsibility of the individual to respond to Christ’s grace in baptism and obeying His words of truth. (Acts 2:38) How can we know what the truth is? God’s word is truth. (John 17:17) Remember, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.” (Proverbs 19:17)
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street,
Greenville, Alabama 36037