Hear the Poor

Proverbs 21:13.

“Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.”

Youth Serve at Union Gospel Mission:

One of the privileges that I have as a pastor is being able to work with the youth group in our church. I have always loved working with teenagers, and love their passion for life. A couple of weeks ago, we took a team of youth from our small town of Beausejour, to serve at Union Gospel Mission, a street outreach in Winnipeg.

It was Matthew 25:40 in action: Jesus said: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” I was so blessed to see a group of teenagers taking their Saturday night and – instead of staying home and playing video games or watching TV – they came to serve. And serve they did! They washed chairs in their chapel in preparation for their evening service, cleaned windows, worked in the kitchen, mopped floors, and greeted street people at the door as they came in for their meal. I was so proud of our amazing team!

Our youth at Union Gospel Mission in Winnipeg, MB

Our youth at Union Gospel Mission in Winnipeg, MB

God Loves the Poor:

Many people wonder why our young people would give up their Saturday night to go and serve the homeless, and the answer is simple: God loves the poor! There are so many Scriptures that reveal to us God’s heart for the poor, the lonely, the orphans and widows, and the strangers:

  • Leviticus 19:10: “And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger.”
  • Deut. 15:7: “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren… you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother.”
  • Psalm 41:1: “Blessed is he who considers the poor; The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”
  • Psalm 82:4: “Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.”
  • Gal. 2:10: “They desired only that we should remember the poor, the very thing which I also was eager to do.”

Don’t Ignore the Poor:

In today’s Scripture, Solomon says, “Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.” (NLT). This is echoed in another Proverb: “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.” (19:17).

God loves the poor. But some would say, “Aha! If there is a God, and He is all-powerful and all-loving, then why are there so many needy people in the world?” The answer to that is simple. As Christians, we are called to be God’s hands and feet in the world. If the poor aren’t being helped, it’s because we aren’t doing our part in reaching them with the love of God. Let’s hear the poor!

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About Chris Jordan

Husband. Father. Author. Pastor. High School Bible Teacher. Follower of Jesus. And I enjoy a good cup of coffee! View all posts by Chris Jordan

4 responses to “Hear the Poor

  • Anthony Baker

    Today I got to drive a bus full of kids from a summer camp in the projects to a movie. It was great to see their smiling faces and “bump fists” with the little men. Tomorrow I will get to help a disabled man on a fixed income buy a grave stone for his deceased sister. Helping those who are less fortunate than we are brings more joy than spending time on the lake, in the mall, or watching TV.

    • Chris Jordan

      I agree, Anthony – there is such a joy and a blessing in helping people! It’s like Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Amen. Blessings to you today my friend…

  • Kris

    I wonder if you may be aware of any resources that you could recommend that help explain to the 21st Christian WHO the poor are. That may sound like a silly question but it is one I have personally wrestled with for several years.

    What I am trying to discern is complicated. I understand poor easily when I look upon many third world countries. In the developed countries it is hard for me to decipher.

    At this point in my understanding, in terms of developed countries, I assume we are to only help the poor who are responsible (if you don’t work, you don’t eat, 2Thes 3:10), showing grace and mercy through giving when someone makes a blunder and it impacts them but cutting off someone who habitually relies on others to survive. I would add to this, occasionally blessing someone who has lesser to simply bless them.

    Applying this set of guidelines is impossible when you do not know the person personally.

    What I wonder about, is how involved to be with people (in third world countries) that I do not personally know. The saints sent money to those in Jerusalem, though they probably didn’t know all of them, because they were aware there was a need. Perhaps, in today’s world, if one lives in a developed country, most of their giving to the poor should be done in like fashion, despite not knowing for sure if they meet these guidelines?

    Just curious if you have any thoughts on this.

    • Chris Jordan

      Kris,
      Thanks for the great reply and comments… I don’t know of any resources per se that might help a Christian identify who the poor are, although there are many great ministries that are doing that very thing – from World Vision (our church has been involved in their 30 Hour Famine program), to Compassion and World Relief. Having said that, how do we define the poor? As Christians living in the affluent west (US & Canada), we have so much, and with it, so many opportunities to help the poor. (See my similar post https://proverbialthought.com/2013/05/04/help-the-poor/).

      In regards to your comments about helping the poor in developed countries, I agree that we are to first of all look to help those who cannot help themselves. There are many elderly, sick or disabled people who cannot work, and they are the first ones we should be helping. There are so many people in our two countries (Canada & the US) who abuse the welfare system and live off of it simply because they are lazy and don’t want to work, not because there is a real need. That’s unfortunate, because it takes resources away from those who really do need it!

      And about helping people in third world countries you don’t know, that’s a tough one too. My best advice to you is to pray about who the Lord would have you support, and trust the leading of the Holy Spirit. Take the time to learn all you can about the ministry, church or group you are supporting, and do your best to be a good steward of the resources the Lord has entrusted you with. And then do all you can to help as many as you can with as much as you can. Amen! Blessings to you Kris….

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