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Tuesday: Cries of the Poor — 18 Comments

  1. Many are the times we ignore the needs of the poor, we tend to forget the responsibility that Christ left us with. When we take care of the poor and the need we then show God that we love our neighbour. Remember when Christ comes He will ask us how our relationship was with the poor.Matthew 25:31-46

  2. Caring for the poor as Christians show the unconditional love and tender mercies and care God has for his children. However caring for the poor doesn't mean providing food and clothing alone for them but also “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy” (Prov 31:8-9). In fact, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern” (Prov 29:7).
    Remember,"He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." Proverbs 14:31.

  3. "Riches bring with them great responsibilities. " - I am truly moved by that statement. Oh that we may ever remember to plead with the One Who made us for power not only to make wealth as per Deut 8v18 but also for wisdom and integrity and generosity to dispense of the wealth prudently.

  4. Those who close their ears to the cries of the poor will themselves call out but receive no answer....The same applies for us today. The rich have a responsibility to care for the poor and make sure that basic human needs are met. This does not mean that we should all have equal wages for unequal work, but those who have riches do have a responsibility to care for the poor. If we are in a position of wealth, we have the responsibility of making sure people are treated fairly and justly so that all people can have their basic needs met. We are not supposed to cling to our wealth so that no one else benefits from it- Matthew 6: 19-21

    • Even if we are poor, the more we give, the more God gives us to give. We can't beat God's giving, no matter how much we try.

      • Clarine, for a long time now I have voiced an opinion against giving everything away. There is no virtue in becoming poor and dependent on other people. We are to be stewards of God's gifts and wealth is a gift from God to be used wisely. The wise person does not waste the gifts God gives but plans for maximum benefit and that means that we need to have a sustainable income.

        I fully realize that one cannot out give God but that has its practical limits. I like what Ellen White's husband and church elder James White once said, "make all you can, save all you can, give all you can." Even Ellen White was not dirt poor when she died and that wasn't because she spent herself rich. She gave what she could but also made sure that she had savings for that rainy day when extra money was needed. Even though she did not have a palatial mansion neither did she live in a little tar paper shack. Her life was one of balance.

        There are some things we need to keep in mind about wealth and all of them have to do with our attitude toward it. As others have said it is the love of money that is evil not money itself. When it becomes our god controlling us to use it solely for selfish reasons then it becomes a curse rather than a benefit. On the other hand let's not make the mistake that God loves seeing His children as the arm pit of poverty such that we become repulsive to those in the world. The wealth of Israel was to be an attraction to the nations around them as Solomon's wealth was but often it became a trap when it was improperly used as was the case with Hezekiah (2 Kings 20) so we need to balance things up and use it wisely.

        Here are two positive texts concerning wealth:
        And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day (Deut. 8:18 NKJV)
        The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it. (Prov. 10:22 NKJV)

        • Tyler,

          Your comments are right on and so helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this comment. I too like this comment and have not heard it, "Ellen White's husband and church elder James White once said, "make all you can, save all you can, give all you can."

          I especially like, "There is no virtue in becoming poor and dependent on other people." I was poor, but not dependent. In part I chose to be poor because I came from a background where my parents had a good amount of money, and some of us kids were beaten down with words and actions of others, and money and things were more important than people. So for a while I chose to be poor, and made enough money to pay bills and kept expenses to bare bones. Even when I was a single mom, I worked and took care of my son. I stayed away from a "welfare" system that would make me financially dependent. My son always saw a mother who worked and took care of him as well as homeschooled him.

          Some time ago, I read what Ellen G. White said about making money on her books, and that this was acceptable. So it was that comment that made me turn around and realize I didn't have to live poor.

          God has blessed my husband and I financially and I am very grateful. 34 years ago I became a Christian, and began to pay tithes even before I was baptized, even though I was poor. We continue to pay tithes and offerings and help others.

        • Jane, that quote (make all you can, save all you can, give all you can) actually originated with John Wesley but I read somewhere that James White repeated that quotation perhaps in a sermon. It can also be found in a Signs of the Times article published on September 27, 1883 that quotes an address that Ellen White gave to a California camp meeting on Friday morning.

        • Tyler,

          Thanks for the Bible verses too! These are two that I didn't know about and fit in with this week's Bible Study.

  5. In Mombasa we see able bodied young men leading blind women to beg from drivers on the road.Should this be encouraged by giving to them or is this judgemental?What of a mother using a child as bait to beg?Could there be such a thing as professional begging and what would be my responsibility as a christian in the above circumstances?

    • This is a difficult question with which,I am sure, we have all struggled. Are we really helping them? When I worked in the city there were people begging at many robots and this was my solution.
      When I went shopping I bought 10 packets of the cheapest biscuits and 10 x 500g mealie meal (porridge) and kept them in my car. Then when they came begging I would offer the mealie meal and if there were children with the mother the biscuits. Those that were genuinely in need were happy to receive the food.

    • When God asks us to care for others (e.g., Luke 12:33), He doesn't qualify our giving with "if they deserve it" or "unless they are lazy." My attitude is to give and let God lead the recipient with how to spend the money or gift.

      Maybe they will buy drugs with the money. It doesn't matter. That is between the person and God. My responsibility is to share the blessings God has given me, blessings which I didn't deserve either.

      • Sieg,

        On one hand, be a giver to others, I agree with you. On the other hand, it's not good to give money to drug addicts, alcoholics, people addicted to gambling or shopping or the like.

        I come from a background with addicts and we've learned to give food, clothes, and other tangible items so that the person doesn't waste the money. We do have to be stewards of the money God has give us.

        • Thanks for the comment Jane. I work with addicts every day and some of them do spend donated money on drugs. These are the same people who pawn everything you give them for drugs (i.e., tangible items). Jesus never had a lawyer or accountant do a background check on the recipients of His love and neither should we in my opinion.

          If God inspires us to give, we should give freely without judging, predicting what others will do with our gifts or expecting anything in return... Just like Jesus 🙂

    • Good Question I've always battled with it. Hoping someone will shed light on how best to deal with such scenarios.

      • Dear Ellen, Jane, Sieg & Shirley,

        I think there is no wrong and right way to do this. Giving comes in all varieties; $$$, clothes, food, drink, a ride…. Etc. If we restricted ourselves to dishing out only $$$, then on the days that we are out of $$$, we may not be able to help. True beggars really don’t have a choice and I’m sure they do not care what we give them (as long as it is usable).

        If beggar asks for $$$ to go and buy some food, and you happen to have some food in your car, then great! You have saved them some steps, they will appreciate the food. On the other hand, if anyone asks for $$$ to go buy some cigarettes, wine or drugs, then that might be a witnessing opportunity, share 1 Corinthians 3:16, then offer them a better alternative e.g., a healthy snack etc.

        I believe this is how the LORD answers our prayers too! Sometimes we ask for things that are going to destroy us and He finds a way of answering our prayers with a better alternative.

    • Very good question brother Otieno; glad you asked!!

      The poor and the needy are everywhere! Honestly, (in my humble opinion), knowing that all human beings have ego, I can almost guarantee that no one in their right mind would want to beg if they did not have to. Unfortunately, some beggars could just be selfish or exploiters (begging out of lack of contentment). However, only God can read motives! If Jesus determines that the person you gave to was simply exploiting you, He will find a way of returning that money back to you.

      In my experience, if anyone comes begging and I have something to give, I will pray that I do not hold back. As a matter of fact, sometimes I pray that the LORD will set those who are truly in need along my pathway, so He can use me to reach out to them.

      There are days when you may have nothing to give. In that case, it is still appropriate to and let that person know that you are praying for them. Or simply even go ahead and pray, just as Paul did in Acts 3:6. Some people keep begging for material goods but all that they truly need is God.

  6. What is good for a poor man in this life? The fact that they need a life like any other rich person, in their desperation to make ends meet, they get low paying jobs as garden boy or maids. As if that is not enough, the employers who at times include members of our church withhold their salary because they have a birthday of their beloved daughter, a trip outside their putative country [...] and or they want to contribute money toward the wedding of there friend´s son getting married. This is not acceptable and its consistent with James 5:4 that sternly warns the rich "Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out".

    In Genesis 6:5-6 it depicts an important lesson to us, because in the aforementioned verse the behavior of man changed drastically; it was skewed toward evil. Verse 6 makes me realize that its not good for man to continue dwelling in evil because "It repents the lord that he had made man on earth, and it grieved him at his heart" this is because God hears the cries of the poor and sees the deteriorating condition of human race.

    On the other hand, human being tend to remember God when they are sick. This include even rich people. When sick they even pledge to God that when I am healed, I will do "A;B;C;D" including taking good care of my maid or garden boy by paying increasing their salary. Once they are discharged from the hospital, the first week all is well with their maids or garden boys, with the passing of time they are fat and happy. During this phase of time they no longer care about anyone. Money and worldly possession is all that matters. Its my prayer that we who have received the good news we can seek God whole heartedly, will be his coworker in his ministry. When we have maids pr garden boys will be the best example to the world. God bless and play for me always, I work in a war torn country


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