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Thursday: Remember the Poor — 10 Comments

  1. God really works through the needy that comes our way! This has been so clear to me. Our hearts can be changed and depression goes away when we also focus on the help of others.

    • Helping the needy or others, in a way do help ourselves. One of the reasons is when we compare ourselves with those who are in a deeper predicament, our souls are comforted in a sense "fortunately it is not me" or "it could have been me". We are grateful to God for our position.

      But it doesn't deal with your depression directly because we have to ask God why did I get this suffering in the first place. Until a man is willing to search into his sufferings, can he find the will of God for himself.

    • The needy should also be appreciative of the fact that God has added resourced persons into the community of believers and thankfully pray for those who give. We should have 'a common vision' as believers.

  2. When becoming a partaker of the Divine nature, it will be the result of God's enabling gift of His Spirit as promised. The soul transformed will work as God works, giving freely what has been freely given to them. Would God then abandon the son or daughter of His grace? Verse 8 is a promise of God's divine blessing, but what we do should be with wisdom and His leading, for God does not dispense carelessly. Not just any poor person is worthy of God's means if they are in willful neglect of anything that would keep them from poverty and want.

    • What you have said illustrates an aspect of Agape love that is often overlooked. Such love has as its sole focus that which is in another's best interests (as opposed to the common misconception of 'love' that proposes that if you 'love' someone, you will give them what they want).

      On a case by case basis, God's wisdom is definitely needed (as you have said) to know what actually is in another's best interests. Sometimes that means giving tangibly, while at other times that means withholding from giving so as not to 'enable' the other to continue in harm.

      True love, rightly exercised, sometimes results in another experiencing hurt when they don't get what they want. But true love never results in harm to the other person. Hurt and harm are not the same thing.

      I have seen and continue to see way too many parents and partners (including those who grew up within Christian contexts) who were unfortunately never taught this important distinction. Consequently, these parents and partners thought they were doing the loving thing by giving to the other to avoid the other from feeling hurt, only to find out too late that they had inadvertently been 'enabling' harm to develop.

      • Wants and needs are two different things. Giving others everything they want is not really helping them but if there is genuine need, our charity should not be based on others' "worthiness" if we truly believe that our possessions are not our own.

    • "Not just any poor person is worthy of God's means..."

      I think we all struggle with this at some point. Then again, God's grace is given freely and, by definition, is not deserved or earned. None of us are "worthy" of God's grace.

      God's grace comes without strings attached. Should we then attach our own strings to it before we share it with others?

      "God does not dispense carelessly."

      God does nothing carelessly. His gift of grace is dispensed unconditionally else it would not be a gift but a wage (Ephesians 2:8). All who choose to receive it will be so moved by it as to feel compelled to share it with others in like manner.

      The disciples did not require pay stubs or tax records before distributing what was laid at their feet (Acts 4:37). All were helped based on their need (Acts 2:45) not based on why they were in need.

      Finally, the joy we get from giving (Acts 20:35) and the example we show others by our generosity would both be lost if we refused to help someone in need because they didn’t "deserve" our help.

  3. Thursday: Remember the Poor. Paul’s letters indicate lots of problems among one-accord members. Was this a permanent arrangement or a principle? How can we balance the descriptive with the prescriptive: Greek widows neglected, open and restricted admission to Gentile converts, diverse beliefs on resurrection, house churches with maids not likely owned by the poor, hand-written scrolls unavailable for equal access: -seems like much room for discord, but the offering collected in Acts 11:27-30 paints a picture of non-discrimination.
    How do we balance “Thou shalt not steal” which implies a right to property, with selling land to give to the poor? Is acceptance of govt.grants not advisable for tax/non-tax paying members? One-accord seems to be humbling ourselves and seeking daily wisdom long before day-break. Willing obedience, even when discouraged by reduced church or personal funds strengthens Faith. Promised mediation of the Holy Spirit should help remove fear and bring comfort in perplexity and adversity. Would appreciate comments on opening govt.grant-approved bank accounts to Help the Poor. Should fund source be a consideration when poor cannot even pay taxes or tithe? Seems complicated. Do we have to have one accord on grant-acceptance? Should not the same be true for educational assistance for our schools? Much perplexed.

  4. My father died when I was little and growing up in the church when I used to read about the church looking after the widows and orphans I wondered why they only helped those not in the church.

    Now that I am grown up, with the little money I have I help when I can. However I believe there are more ways of being poor than just not having money and things. Many are poor in love, or in spirit or in the knowledge of God. So I share what I have received in those aspects.

    I keep reminding myself that though all who have the character of the LORD will have love & charity for others each one receives different Spiritual Gifts. "Helps" is one of them but there are several others and I believe 'Helps' is not my Spiritual Gift so I will not let others make me feel guilty because I am not 'giving' more.

    • Your kind response to my perplexity is much appreciated, especially the "Gift of Helps" part. Will share with senior class members who feel guilty when circumstances prohibit their participation in Tract Distribution during lesson study time. Many do not trumpet their experiences but quietly experience family unity with their Gift of Helps during the week. I hope the following includes grandmothers, aunts, uncles, Wise kind strangers from the "mixed multitude", who help the family unit.

      Adventist Home pg. 235. "No Work Is Greater or Holier—If married men go into the work, leaving their wives to care for the children at home, the wife and mother is doing fully as great and important a work as the husband and father. Although one is in the missionary field, the other is a home missionary, whose cares and anxieties and burdens frequently far exceed those of the husband and father. Her work is a solemn and important one.... The husband in the open missionary field may receive the honors of men, while the home toiler may receive no earthly credit for her labor. But if she works for the best interest of her family, seeking to fashion their characters after the divine Model, the recording angel writes her name as one of the greatest missionaries in the world. God does not see things as man's finite vision views them.


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