Saturday, August 1, 2015

Unavoidable: the Poor and Needy

In our modern, wealthy, capitalistic society the poor and needy are often ignored. The reality is that life here in the USA is busy. Many of us struggle just to make it through the work day, get home, and spend a little time with family before collapsing on the couch in a stupor. The idea of caring for the poor and needy doesn't even cross our minds.

What we cannot ignore is that God cares for those in need and expects us to do the same.

We see this modeled in the early church. In Galatians 2 Paul writes of his meeting with Peter, James, and John, "...they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. Only, they asked us to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do."

In James 1:27 we read, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."

From the beginning to the end of the bible we see that God looks out for those in need. At a spiritual level we are all in great need. While God certainly cares about this, he also cares about the physical sufferings of those who don't have the basic essentials of life. In this country, which is increasingly becoming a welfare-state, we often rely on the government to care for the poor. This ought not be.

God cares for the poor and needy. The early church did the same. This is an unavoidable principle for church life. What will we do about it?

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