She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm clothes. Proverbs 31:20-21 NLT
We all know we should help the poor and needy, but why do we not do it? Are we scared of them or scared of the what if’s? Do we think we just don’t have enough to make a difference or that we ourselves are the needy so we don’t need to help? How many of you have turned a blind eye to the homeless man on the corner, or the struggling single mom who can’t put food on the table? I know I have, and I’m sure most of you have too. God has many callings laid out in His Word that are for every single Christian. One of those callings is helping the poor and needy. I speak this from a place of love, but as a collective whole we Christians are failing at this calling! There are so many poor and needy people out there that we can help if only we put forth the effort! Who exactly is the poor and needy though? I’m glad you asked!
For the Lord hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people. Psalm 69:33 NLT
When we think of the word needy the first thing most of us think of is the homeless man on the corner. While this is true, there are far more examples of needy people. There are the orphans, the widows, the single parents, those who are living in poverty. There are many examples of needy people. I’m not talking about the spiritually needy today, though there are many who are, I’m talking about physical needs. We don’t think much about orphans, widows, or single parents being needy. There’s no such thing as an orphanage in the USA anymore, because of the foster care system. However, these children are still needy! The foster care system is brutal and is no substitute for a loving family. There are also many countries out there who have orphanages still where children live in sad conditions; many with no hope of adoption. They need our support! The widows are not thought of often because we believe the lie that they can live off social security, retirement, or the life insurance policy from their spouse. Sadly though, many widows can barely pay their rent or buy food with the income they have. Single parents have to support their children, most of the time without help from anyone else. They sometimes go without food just so their children have enough to eat. They never get to do anything for themselves because they are the sole caretaker of their children. These needs are grievous, and we need to do something about them Christians! I know what your thinking, what can I do? I’m only one person, I can’t make a huge difference. No, you probably won’t be able to solve world hunger or the homelessness epidemic in the world but you can do something for the one. That’s what matters.
Sodom’s sins were pride, gluttony, and laziness, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. Ezekiel 16:49 NLT
We all know what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah. We don’t want to experience that! So what can we do?! First off the best and easiest way to start doing something for the poor and needy is to get involved with the local missions team at your church. Your church doesn’t have one? Maybe you’re the one to help start it! Another way that is easy in some aspects, and harder in others, is to tithe. If your in a good Bible believing church then that church uses it’s funds not only to keep the building running, but they also use the funds to support good causes. For example the church I attend gives a great deal of money into the local area. They help make sure kids eat during the summer through support of the local schools summer meal program. They help families without transportation get free vehicles to help support their families. They even help women in crisis through supporting programs that help women escape abuse and human trafficking. You can also support the causes of the poor and needy by offering money above and beyond your tithe to help them. Don’t have extra money? I know that feeling, in a society where a lot of us live paycheck to paycheck we don’t have extra money to give away very often. What you do have though is time.
There were no needy people among them, because those who owned land or houses would sell them and bring the money to the apostles to give to those in need. Acts 4:34-35 NLT
What time you ask? Well how about all that time you spend watching tv or reading books? ( Convicting myself with that last part, I see you God!) That money and time spent getting your nails done could be spent helping a single mom get some groceries for her family or watching her child while she goes to the store. What about all those extracurricular your kids are in, do they actually enjoy all of them? Do they have time to spend with the Lord each day or are their schedules so full they barely have time to do their home work? Why not fill up some of their free time with serving others instead. The gift of giving keeps on giving! It is possible to not have a single needy person in the church, it clearly states in Acts that the early church had eliminated neediness! It’s not the job of the government to take care of our people, it’s the church’s!
You are not here in the world for yourself. You have been sent here for others. The world is waiting for you! ~ Catherine Booth
Catherine Booth was the founder, along with her husband, of the Salvation Army. She didn’t just speak this truth, she lived it out! My hope is to do the same! I don’t want to just be a teacher of the Word, but a doer! I plan on getting involved in the local missions ministry at my church and I hope you do the same at yours! I’m also going to link to a few websites that can help you get involved with helping the needy!
What’s the cause God has laid on your heart? Tell me in the comments below, I’d love to know what needy people the Lord has burdened your heart for!
Help the Children:
Help Those Caught in Human Trafficking:
General Christian Aid Organizations: