PROVERBS DAY #19: YOU ARE RICHER THAN YOU THINK:
CARE FOR THE POOR
“He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.” (Prov. 19:17).
Do you think of yourself as being poor or rich? Many people who live in Canada or the US would consider themselves to be poor people, but the reality is, we are rich! If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank or in your wallet, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy. More than one billion people do not have access to safe water today. So – the next time you go to get a drink of water from your tap – or help yourself to some bottled water – may that remind you how blessed you are!
Dave Toycen, the President of World Vision Canada, writes: “Living in the twenty-first century offers tremendous opportunities to those who have, but for the three billion people of the world living on less than two dollars a day it’s a crushing existence of grinding poverty, despair, and unremitting daily challenges.” (The Power of Generosity).
The Book of Proverbs has a lot to say about our responsibility to care for the poor. Our key Scripture today tells us that when we give to the poor, we are lending to the Lord, and He will repay us. Proverbs also says, “Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.” (Prov. 22:9). Do you want to be blessed by the Lord? Then we need to take seriously our responsibility to care for the poor. God’s Word even goes so far to say, “Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing…” (Prov. 28:27).
In addition to the many blessings promised to those who help the poor, there is also a warning given to those who ignore the needy: “Those who shut their ears to the cries of the poor will be ignored in their own time of need.” (Prov. 21:13). Sooner or later, all of us will need God’s help in our lives, and if we have done our part to reach out to the poor today, then we can count on God’s help and provision tomorrow.
Some of you might ask – how can we help the poor? If we give our money to a homeless person living on the streets, isn’t it possible that they might just take that cash and go buy drugs, alcohol or cigarettes? How can we be good stewards of our money, but also care for the poor? Well, one way is by giving towards some of the many different ministries that are devoted to caring for the poor, such as Union Gospel Mission. Another way is by supporting global missions, like our church’s mission trips to Costa Rica, where we go to ministering to some of the poorest families in third world country countries. Pray about it, and ask the Lord where He would have you give financially to help the poor.
TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER NINETEEN.
Pastor Chris Jordan