God is clear about helping the poor. When the Holy Spirit convicts your heart and you began to read God’s Holy Word, then you will see his word with fresh eyes. Now as I read the scriptures about the poor I could see that their need was everywhere.
The bible reminded me about me and my family when we were growing up as young children in the state of Virginia before our family moved to Ohio. I believe that most people have heard about the phrase, here that our family was “poorer than dirt.” My Dad and Mother were poor and they had very little education. But I must tell you first about my Father and Mother and my four sisters and three brothers as I remember them. In this part of the country the people were very poor and they were under-privileged and many people had very little education where I came from. The only work that was available for a man to get was working in the coal mines. This kind of work was dirty and dangerous and the work was hard with very little pay and no recognition for any man. Now during this time it was hard for a coal miner to make a living for his family and put food on the table for all of us children. I was a son of a coal miner and my Dad worked long hours and he made very little money at this dirty and dangerous job working in a coal mines. Now it was here that I remember that my Dad would get up early in the morning and it was always before day-light he would kiss my Mom good-by and then he would walk about 3 miles to work. My Dad worked at the Blue Diamond Coal Company at Boney Blue Virginia for about 30 years. Now I must get back to the biblical scriptures about God’s view on the “poor.” It was here in the 15th chapter of Deuteronomy that Moses tells us about the sabbatical year, or “the year of release.” Also this (sabbatical year) was spoken about in (Exodus 23:10-11); and also in (Leviticus 25:1-22). Now here is where our God, (Jehovah) commanded the people to give the land a “Sabbath” or (a rest) from growing crops every seven years. But the reasons that the Lord gave here was for the “poor” could eat from the land in the sabbatical year in the book of (Exodus 23:11). Also in the book of (Deuteronomy 15:4); there is a great example of God’s grace, His mercy, and His kindness. Our God tells us, if the people would obey all of His commands concerning lending and borrowing; and collecting, repaying, and forgiving their debts, that the Lord God assured them that “there shall be no poor among you.”
1) Well after a while the big Coal Companies began to close all of the coal mines and go out of business. This put thousands of families into the very poor style of living because the men could not find any type of work. Just to put food on the table for our family, we all had to work very hard at raising a bigger garden so we could have enough food to eat. This was a real learning experience for me. I remember the types of vegetables that our family had to plant every year so we could eat and have food for the whole year. Every spring of each year our family would plant lots of potatoes, green-beans, sweet-potatoes, onions, lettuce, peas, corn, watermelons, apples, and peaches. We had to raise lots of food so we could caned all the vegetables because this food had to last us year long. We also had to dig big holes in the ground that was under the house and porch. After we harvest all the food from our garden then we would cover our potatoes and apples with straw and then we would cover the holes with some dirt. We did this so the food would not freeze and the family could have something to eat for the rest of the year.
2) After about one year the Government started a food program and it consisted of; I box of cheese, I box of powder eggs, I box of powder milk, 1 can of roast beef; as I remember the powder eggs, and the powder milk, just tasted awful and you had to hold your nose when you eat and drank them. Also my brother Jim and I shined shoes in the little town of St. Charles Virginia. Now by shined shoes we would make enough money to go see a movie at the show-house. Well that’s the way I remember our family growing up in the state of Virginia before our family moved to Middletown, Ohio when I was about 12 years old. Well I guess that’s why I can say that our family was dirt poor, when we lived in the state of Virginia.
3) Now the first verse is a very familiar one to all of us and it’s from the passage of Scripture that we call the Beatitudes. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3). Here some people seem to assume that because this passage uses the word poor, the Lord was talking about people who were living in financial poverty. They conclude that poverty is linked to spirituality. I’ve heard people say only somewhat in jest about their preachers, “We’ll keep ’em poor, and God will keep ’em humble.” These people have come to the position that being poor removes all concern or desire for material provision, and that once individuals have given up all hope of any prosperity, God can speak more clearly to them. Some even seem to conclude that all poor people make it to heaven and that no rich people do.
4) We should know from a very practical, logical standpoint that this is not the case. Poor people don’t stop being concerned about financial provision or cease desiring prosperity. If anything, they have a greater concern about meeting their material needs. Millions of people around the world awaken every morning with poverty foremost on their minds, and they spend long hours trying to make do out the barest of livings in their effort to starving off death, disease, oppression, and other horrible ravages of poverty. Poverty doesn’t automatically make people more conscious of God or more spiritually minded. Furthermore, God doesn’t stop speaking to the rich. He speaks to any person who has a listening heart, regardless of the balance in the checking account.
5) I believe that the more important issue here is that this verse doesn’t say what people have come to think it says. Jesus refers to the “poor in spirit,” not the poor in finances. He is speaking about those who are humble, who have no pretense that they are beyond any need of God’s forgiveness. People must be poor in spirit, in other words, have an attitude that they need God and are spiritually destitute without Him and before they will ever turn to God and receive His forgiveness and love. Now to a great degree, our sense of having a lack of God in our lives draws us to want a relationship with God. And when we come to that point in our lives, we are in the best position possible to accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and to receive God’s forgiveness in our lives. When we accept Jesus and open ourselves to God’s forgiveness and love, we have entrance into eternal life and a permanent home in heaven. Ours is the kingdom of heaven, as our Lord Jesus taught in the bible.
6) Now below there are six questions in the next part of our bible study about the rich and the poor. How will you answer these questions? But I would like to ask you the real question. What are you giving to help the poor in your home town or neighborhood where you live?
- Can a rich person be humble before God? yes
- Can a rich person feel a need for God? yes
- Can a rich person experience salvation and place all their trust in God? yes
- Can a poor person be too angry with God to seek His forgiveness? yes
- Can a poor person refuse to turn to God for forgiveness? yes
- Can a poor person reject God’s offer of forgiveness and remain a sinner? Your answers should be yes
7) But, some say, “there is a spirit of poverty, and those who have this spirit are more likely to turn to God.” Yes, there is a spirit of poverty. It is a spirit that causes depression, dejection, and despair. It is a spirit that manifests itself in poor self-esteem, low levels of confidence and enthusiasm, and a lack of hope. It is a spirit that can result in such fear and anxiety that faith is crushed. A spirit of poverty exists, but it is not a spirit that automatically causes a person to turn to God. Having a spirit of poverty is not at all the same as being “poor in spirit.” Have you ever met people who grew up poor but never seemed to think of themselves as poor? They were surrounded by people who loved them, believed in them, encouraged them in their faith, and held out the hope of a bright future to them. They look back on their financially accounts in their childhoods and think of themselves as having been very rich in all the right things.
8) I’ve also met people who grew up in wealthy homes, but they are impoverished when it comes to love, hope, enthusiasm for the future, and self-image. They were given lots of material stuff, but not much love or attention. No, financial blessing doesn’t automatically relate to the salvation of one’s soul or a decision to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. There is no inherent righteousness in poverty. There are five questions below, how would you answer them.
- Have you ever been poor in spirit?
- How did you feel after you answered this question?
- Can you recall an instance in your past when you didn’t have very much money?
- How did you feel after you answered this question?
- Now in what ways were these experiences and your feelings about them similar?
9) A second verse that is often used to support the idea that poverty is linked to spirituality is this; “The poor you have with you always” (John 12:8). Now people have used this verse to conclude that God condones poverty. That is not what this verse says. There is no blessing attached with poverty, in this verse or any other verse. Jesus was pointing out to His disciples the reality of humankind as a whole, not God’s desire for humankind. He was stating what is, not what God wishes. Furthermore, we need to take this statement in the broader context of what was happening in the lives of Jesus and His disciples at that point. Jesus was in the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, whom Jesus had recently raised from the dead. Jesus was having supper with them only a week before His crucifixion, and He knew His time on earth was short.
10) It was here the Bible tells us, that Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of my burial. For the poor you have with you always, but me you do not have always” (John 12:3–8).
11) Jesus’ main point was not that the poor are always in our midst, but that Judas’s priorities were sorely misplaced. Judas claimed to be thinking of what could be given to the poor when he was really concerned about having more money in the fund from which he was embezzling. Judas had no sensitivity toward what God was about to do in Jesus’ life; he had no sensitivity toward the motive of Mary’s heart. Jesus clearly and accurately read Judas’s intentions and stated just as clearly that any gift given out of sacrificial love for the Lord is a worthy gift. There is no honor bestowed upon poverty in this statement of Jesus.
12) Here in the book of (Deuteronomy 15:7-11); we are demonstrating God’s heart for the poor. Now many people live in “the great in-between,” that is, they consider themselves neither rich nor poor. However, a family that makes $40,000 per year is in the top 1 percent of the richest people in the world. This means that rich and poor are relative terms, depending on those around you. Statistics like this should make us thankful for our jobs, our homes, and our lifestyles when we consider our lives against the global population. However, many who are reading this bible study struggle to get the basic necessities of life for food, clothing, and shelter. They struggle to make out an existence in the world, sometimes, because of poor choices they have made, but many times because of circumstances that were outside of their control.
13) When we are confronting poverty which often makes those who are not in it uncomfortable. Whether it is a child from Africa on the television with no food to eat or the homeless man down the street, Christians often struggle with the desire to help those in need, but the suspicion is that such persons may be merely using their poverty to take advantage of people. Many Christians simply turn and look the other way rather than encounter someone who is homeless or poor. This helps salve their conscience, but it does not absolve them of their responsibility. We as Christians should be an example and always help the poor.
14) The Israelites had the opportunity to enter the land of Canaan not long after they had exited Egypt, but they did not obey the Lord (Numbers 13:26-33). Their fear of the giants usurped the command of God, and the Israelites wandered for 40 years while all of those who exited Egypt died, except for the two spies who brought a favorable report, Joshua and Caleb. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses began to prepare the wilderness wanderers for entrance into the Promised Land. He would not be joining them there because of a mistake he made earlier (Numbers 20:8-12). Even though Moses would not join them in this Promise Land, and this was because he disobeyed God by smiting the rock twice and the water came out abundantly for God’s people. But God told Moses to speak to the rock and this is why he could not go with his people to the land of milk and honey where God had promised them when the people left Egypt. But when Moses came to the side of the Jordan River. But Moses gave final preparations for them as they prepared to cross the Jordan River and as Joshua prepared to become their new leader.
15) Moses reviewed all the instructions the people needed to know as they prepared to go forward in obedience to God. He first reminded them of their history from Egypt to the threshold of crossing the Jordan (Deuteronomy 1:6); and (Deuteronomy 4:43). Then, he reminded them of the general laws that were to govern the new nation (Deuteronomy 4:44); and (Deuteronomy 11:32). This includes a reminder of the Ten Commandments and the events surrounding God’s giving of them. After that, Moses started reviewing specific stipulations of the covenant God had made with the Israelites (Deuteronomy 12:1); (Deuteronomy 26:19), which included items such as proper worship, clean and unclean foods, tithes, and the sabbatical year. It was in the context of the regulations about the sabbatical year (Deuteronomy 15:1-18); that we should focal on these verses for our bible study.
16) The year of canceling debts is for the Hebrews of (Deuteronomy 15:9); literally says “the seventh year of the release” or “the year of the seventh the year of the cancelation of debt.” The phrase refers to the previous verses in (Deuteronomy 15:1-3). All debts between Israelites were to be cancelled at the end of the seventh year, regardless of the amount of the debt or the terms of the agreement. The debts of foreigners did not fall under the same terms and were still liable for repayment. The purpose of this sabbatical year was to avoid creating a class of poor people who were oppressed by those to whom they owed money. The year brought rights to the poor, but it also created responsibility within those who lent money to others.
17) The word bless in (Deuteronomy 15:10); literally meant “to kneel.” It is a word often used for people who bow before God in worship. However, it occurs numerous times in the Old Testament for God blessing people. In this case it probably referred to the kneeling of a person before he received a blessing from a superior. This was the case when Solomon knelt before the Lord to ask the Lord’s favor on his reign as king. Solomon knelt before the Lord, hoping to receive success, prosperity, and longevity (II Chronicles 6:13).
18) There are eight questions below, as a believer in our Lord Jesus, how would you answer these questions. Also I would like to ask you another question. What will you do to help the poor and all these people that are in much poverty all over the world?
- Who should be considered among the poor?
- What is the proper response of a Christian toward a fellow Christian who is caught in the clutches of poverty?
- Do these actions apply equally toward brothers in Christ as well as to those who do not know Him?
- Why does the Lord care so much about the poor and require us to respond to their needs?
- What would be potential problems with canceling debts every seventh year?
- What is the difference between loaning and borrowing for wants rather than needs?
- How does the refusal to loan to the poor reflect a stingy heart?
- Why would God judge a person for not sharing his or her possessions with those in need?
II) The answers can be found in (Deuteronomy 15:7-9); Also below verses 20, 21, and 22.
19) “If there is a poor person among you,” and one of your brothers within any of your gates in the land the Lord your God is giving you. You must not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. (Deuteronomy 15:7);
20) Instead, you are to open your hand to him and freely loan him enough for whatever need he has. (Deuteronomy 15:8);
21) Be careful that there isn’t this wicked thought in your heart, “The seventh year, the year of canceling debts, is near,” and you are stingy toward your poor brother and give him nothing. He will cry out to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty. (Deuteronomy 15:9);
22) We as Christians should always share freely when you see a need. As Moses defined the kind of government that would rule the land the Israelites were to inhabit, he reviewed the requirements for covenantal living. He reminded the people of the Ten Commandments (Deuteronomy 5:1-21), and gave them the greatest Commandment to love God (Deuteronomy 6:1-25). He encouraged proper worship (Deuteronomy 12:1-32), and forbade them to get involved with idolatry (Deuteronomy 13:1-18). He explained which foods were unclean and which foods were clean (Deuteronomy 14:1-21), and gave them responsibilities concerning tithing their income (Deuteronomy 14:22-29). In that context, Moses explained the institution of a sabbatical year, a year in which the debts of the poor would be cancelled and slaves would be released (Deuteronomy 15:1-18).
23) God’s heart was that the poor and the slaves would have an opportunity to break out of their poverty. Therefore, He commanded that at the end of a seven-year period, the Israelites were to cancel the debts of a “brother” or a “neighbor” who owed them money (Deuteronomy 15:1). They were not under obligation to cancel the debt of “a foreigner” (verse 3). God revealed His desire about this sabbatical year in verse 4: “There will be no poor among you, however, because the Lord is certain to bless you in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance.” Poverty existed in that time, as it does in ours, but the Lord made provision so the opportunity would be there for a person to break out of its clutches. The sabbatical year also presupposed that God would bless the Israelites abundantly as they entered the new land that was flowing with milk and honey. If people were not held back by past debts, they had the opportunity to succeed in a bountiful land. Remember that they had toiled in the desert for 40 years prior to Moses’ words in this passage, so the chance for a new life in a flourishing land held great promise for the Israelites.
24) Now verse 7 begins with an acknowledgement of the poor person among you. The Hebrew language contained several words for the poor, and each had a different shade of meaning. One word meant “afflicted,” another meant “weak.” However, the word used in this passage referred specifically to those who lacked material wealth. The poor included those who had lost their ancestral land (Exodus 23:11), and had reverted to borrowing from others in (Deuteronomy 15:7-11). The poor might have lacked basic clothing (Job 31:19), or adequate food (Psalms 132:15). God made provisions for those who lacked the basic necessities at the feast of Purim (Esther 9:22).
25) Moses further qualified his identification of the poor with the words one of your brothers. The sabbatical year applied only to the Israelites and not to the foreigners who owed them money (Deuteronomy 15:3). Israelites had to cancel the debts of their brothers, but they could collect the debts of those who did not belong to the children of Israel. Those outside the covenantal relationship with God did not receive the same benefits of community as those who were in the covenant. Those who were outside the covenant would certainly see the benefits of being in fellowship with God’s people and would desire that sense of community. Note that this passage did not prevent an Israelite from helping a non-Israelite, but it did restrict the obligatory releasing of debts to those within the Israelite community.
26) Many questions arise when it comes to the practicality of the sabbatical year. How would it work for lenders to release their borrowers on the seventh year? Could a person pile up debt, knowing that the seventh year was coming soon? Some scholars believe that the sabbatical year only relaxed the payment for one year, but that seems foreign to the text. In verse 9 indicates that this was a complete cancellation of all debts in the seventh year, hence the warning not to refuse to lend to the poor when the seventh year approached. Certainly, more caution would be used as the time of releasing debts approached, but this was a good caution. Lenders would lend with that in mind, and borrowers would borrow with that in mind as well. It promoted responsibility in both lending and borrowings. It also provided an opportunity for the poor to rise from their humble position by receiving a fresh start during the sabbatical year.
27) Moses discouraged the Israelites from being hardhearted and tightfisted. The first word, hardhearted, was the same one used to describe King Sihon’s heart when he would not allow Israel to cross through Amorite territory (Deuteronomy 2:30). Hardhearted people were those who knew what was right to do, but they did not do it. The opposite of hardhearted would be those who are softhearted are those who see the needs of others and attempt to help them out of their plight.
28) The second quality that Moses encouraged the people to avoid was that of being tightfisted. In addition to a rigid heart, some had a closed hand. This word referred both to the shutting of the mouth and the shutting of the hands. It specifically referred to those who could afford to help the poor but kept their resources firmly clinched in their hands. God’s desire was for the poor to have the opportunity to rise from their circumstances, and He expected those who could assist such in a responsible way to help them.
29) Instead of being tightfisted Moses encouraged the Israelites to open your hand to the poor. The verb is descriptive, as it often means “to lose,” “to untie,” “to release,” or “to liberate.” Certainly, this implies more than merely giving a handout. It means giving a hand up! The Israelites were not to give merely just because there was a need. They were to give in order to help the person who was in need rise to a better place. By releasing the poor from their debt during the sabbatical year, the wealthy were untying the poor from an obligation that their debt had created. Going even beyond the release of the sabbatical year, Moses encouraged those who had plenty to share with those who were in need. He encouraged them not only to open their hands to the poor but to freely loan enough to meet their need. The people of God were to see those in need and provide sufficient help to assist them in rising from their need.
30) The real test of generosity, however, was the nearness to the sabbatical year which was the seventh year, the year of canceling debts. Verse 9 contains a warning to be careful. Most people who give to the poor are cautious and sometimes even skeptical, because they think that all poor people are poor because of their laziness or their own poor choices. They do not want the poor to take advantage of their generosity. However, the warning given to the people of God is not to protect themselves from fraud but was to protect themselves from a lack of generosity. The real test of generosity would have been a brother who had a need prior to the sabbatical year. Should a person help someone just before the time of cancellation of the debt happened in the sabbatical year? Skepticism of being defrauded could have prevented an Israelite from helping a brother who had a legitimate need.
But even without that, who would want to make a loan to someone only to have to cancel it the next year? In the case of a poor person coming for a loan just prior to the sabbatical year. Then the lender would have had to look at the loan as more of a gift than something on which repayment would be made. This would reduce the idea of using a loan as an investment rather than helping a brother in need, which is what the loan was intended to do in the first place. It would be tempting to become less generous the closer the sabbatical year became. Thus the warning, be careful that there isn’t this wicked thought in your heart. “The seventh year, the year of canceling debts, is near,” and you are stingy toward your poor brother and give him nothing.
31) Now certainly poverty is a multifaceted problem that must be addressed both on the societal level and the individual level. However, this passage emphasizes the responsibility of the individual, not the responsibility of society. That issue would be addressed elsewhere. The responsibility rests on individual Christians to help brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need. Nobody wants others to take advantage of one’s generosity, but that alone is not a motive for refusing to help others.
32) If the church and its people looked the other way, the poor would cry out to the Lord against us and we would be guilty before God. As the poor prays to God for help, he also indicts those around him who have been gifted by God to meet that need but who refuse to help. This makes the person who refuses to help guilty before God (“guilty of sin).” The Hebrew root word used here occurs about 580 times in the Old Testament. Thus, it is the principal word used for sin. The basic idea behind the word was “to miss the mark.” Like a marksman who shoots and misses at a target, the person who refuses to help the poor fails to connect with one of God’s aims for his life. God expects generosity from His followers, and this means that they must freely share with others when they see a legitimate need.
33) What are some of the lasting truths in (Deuteronomy 15:7-9)?
- Christians have a responsibility to help fellow Christians in need.
- Christians should open their hearts and hands to the poor.
- Christians should be responsible in lending.
- Christians should be responsible in borrowing.
- Christians should have an open hand when it comes to helping meet others’ needs.
- Christians should give to meet needs rather than using the poor as an investment.
The prayers of the poor implicate those who have the means to help but do not help.
34) Why should a Christian help those in need? How have you seen God bless those who give to meet others’ needs? If we cannot eliminate poverty, why should we even get involved in helping the poor? What does the refusal to help the poor reveal about our view of the grace of God in our own possessions? The answers can be found in (Deuteronomy 15:10-11); below in verses 10, 11.
- (Deuteronomy 15:10); Give to him, and don’t have a stingy heart when you give, and because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you do.
- (Deuteronomy 15:11); for there will never cease to be poor people in the land; that is why I am commanding you, “You must willingly open your hand to your afflicted and poor brother in your land.”
35) God Blesses Us and Our Giving. Giving to the poor to meet a need is not all that God asks of His people. In (Deuteronomy 15:10), He encouraged the person who had the means to give to the poor, but He also told that person don’t have a stingy heart. The word used here often means “evil” or “bad.” In this context it refers to a person who gave grudgingly. He did a good thing but thought it bad. He didn’t want to help, but he did anyway. Rather, God loves a cheerful giver (II Corinthians 9:7). I heard it said recently that God loves a cheerful giver, but He will take it from a grouch. While that may be true, the grouch certainly receives no commendation or reward from God for giving. (Deuteronomy 15:10); encouraged people to give to the poor and to do so without giving to them grudgingly.
36) Those who give cheerfully to meet the need of the poor have a promise. The Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you do. This verse does not offer a blank-check promise that God will make every person wealthy who gives to the poor. But it does assure each giver that God will offer His blessing on those who are givers. As we respond to the needs of others, God responds to our needs. God blesses people in many ways. Sometimes He blesses financially, but at other times His blessings are spiritual in nature. We do not give for the purpose of getting something from God, but as we give He proves to be faithful to us.
37) Now verse 11 offers a gentle reminder that there will never cease to be poor people in the land. No matter how much we give to the poor, poverty will still exist. Jesus shared the same idea in Matthew 26 when the woman came to anoint His feet with very expensive fragrant oil. The disciples grew indignant, criticizing the woman for not selling the oil and giving it to the poor. Jesus responded with the following statement: “You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me” (Deuteronomy 15:11). The point of Jesus’ words was to highlight the fact that the woman had realized the importance of His impending death and its inclusion in the gospel.
38) In (Deuteronomy 15:11), the emphasis is on the open opportunity to help the poor. We can never reach the end of helping the poor. No matter how many poor people Christians help, still more are struggling to make ends meet. For that reason, those who follow the Lord need to open their hands to the poor. (Proverbs 14:21), says, “The one who despises his neighbor sins, but whoever shows kindness to the poor will be happy.” (Proverbs 14:31); speaks even stronger: “The one who oppresses the poor person insults his Maker, but one who is kind to the needy honors Him.” (Proverbs 19:17); says, “Kindness to the poor is a loan to the Lord, and He will give a reward to the lender.” (Proverbs 21:13); suggests that refusing to help the poor hinders one’s prayer life: “The one who shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will himself also call out and not be answered.” So, the opportunity to help the poor is prevalent, and those who do so not only help others but themselves as well.
39) Moses commanded the Israelites, telling them that when they reached their new land they were to notice those who were afflicted and poor. The Hebrew word in (Deuteronomy 15:11); for afflicted has the primary meaning of “to force someone into submission.” It was used of actions that God did to prompt repentance in someone who experienced difficulties because of sin and disobedience (Deuteronomy 8:23); (Psalms 102:23); (Isaiah 64:12); (Zechariah 10:2). Poverty brings many afflictions with it, and Christians have the opportunity not only to help with the problem of poverty but the issues associated with it. Hunger, theft, malnutrition, drug-dealing, and other social ills arise out of poverty. Treating poverty is important, but so is helping people through their afflictions.
40) What are some lasting truths in the book of (Deuteronomy 15:10-11)? We should never forget to always help the people that are in poverty because our God has always bless this great country of ours.
- We need a giving heart rather than a stingy heart toward the poor.
- God returns blessings on His children when He sees them helping those in need.
- Stamping out poverty is not the primary motive for giving to the poor, as poverty will always be an issue in society.
- Our primary motive for giving should be to reflect God’s heart for the poor.
41) Now in this bible study, I would like to point out to all the people just what Jesus said about those that are very rich and have a great deal of treasure. Our Lord Jesus said, lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. (Matthew 6:19); But lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal (Matthew 6:20). For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.
42) Jesus taught another short story in the book of Mark. Here a young man came running, and kneeled to Him, and asked Him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. Then Jesus ask, these questions, Do thou knowest the commandments, do not commit adultery, do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, defraud not, and honor thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto Him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, one thing thou lackest; go thy way, and sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven. (Mark 10:17-21)
43) I would like to remind the rich man one more thing that our Lord Jesus said and that can be found in the book of Matthew. Here Jesus said unto His disciples, Verily I say unto you that a rich man shall, with difficulty, enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 19:23-24)
44) When His Disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who, then, can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:25-26)
45) Remember it is always easier to look the other way when we cross paths with someone who is homeless or the poor who needs help, but the Bible gives us a better approach. As a Christian we should never pass anyone by if they are hurt or hungry or maybe they just need a helping hand to get started back on the right path with God.
A) The purpose of this bible study is to always ask our God to help us when we meet someone that is poor and needs a helping hand. I believe that there is only one answer for the poor and that is to pray for them and ask our Lord Jesus Christ to have mercy on them and trust in Him to save their soul from the terrible place called Hell. Once again, I appeal to your good nature. Please help feed the hungry and also take care of the poor and our God will bless you.
B) Remember; if you are not saved our God has the power to save any one that calls upon the name of Jesus Christ and repents of their sins. Now all that are lost need God’s power because we have a problem with sin. The Bible tells us that “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23).
C) Now you can find the way to Heaven in the book of (Romans 10:9). This scripture in the bible tells us that “If you confess with your mouth, that “Jesus is Lord,” and that you believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
D) We all need to confess our sins and ask God for his forgiveness. When you confess Jesus Christ as your Lord, then this involves an agreeing with God about your sin and your need for Salvation. You must repent of your own personal sins, by doing this you are willing to turn away from the direction in life in which you are going.
E) Now to “believe in your heart” is to place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, also you are trusting that Jesus died on the Cross to pay for your sins. But our God proves His own love for us in that while we were sill sinners, Jesus Christ died for all of us. (Romans 5:8).
F) Remember, if you would like to have Salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ, you sincerely pray a prayer like this one; “Please God, I confess to you my sins and I need for you to save me right now. Then I will turn away from my sins and I place my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord of my life forever. Amen.”
G) In closing this study about poverty and the poor, never forget to pray for all of them and their families and friends. And be sure to give our Lord Jesus Christ all the praise, the glory, and honor for any healing that you might receive from Him.
H) Father, please help me have a heart for the poor like you have a heart for the poor. Remind me of my own poverty in Spirit so I can see you at work in me and in them. Now I ask you Lord Jesus please bless me with the means to be a blessing to others, and make me grateful for all that you have given to me. Amen. We as Christians should never forget the price that He (Jesus), had to pay for our sin on the Cross at Calvary.
I) Note: Now this concludes our Bible Study about the poor and the poverty in this country and for the rest of the world. Please pray earnestly for God’s power to work in your lives and heal all the terrible sickness in all of the world too. Please pass this bible study on to other people if it has helped you in anyway. Remember that all the material is free on this web-site and I don’t believe in paying for God’s Holy Word.
You’re, Brother in Christ,