DVBe Merciful to the PoorHe who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given. —Proverbs 19:17What are some practical steps you can take to help others in need today?
In modern society, many people are rich in terms of material livelihood but poor in spiritual life. What can you do to help these poor?In every generation there are the poor—crowded in shabby shelters, enduring an existence that is inhumane in the eyes of modern society. Yet the poor rarely gain much attention from society. Christians living in a society that would rather look the other way should distinguish themselves with a life of compassion and love. Living with compassion, by showing concern for those society has deserted, we follow in Jesus' footsteps, and manifest and spread the fragrance of Christ.
If brothers or sisters are ill-clad and lack nourishment, and you say to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them what they need, how does that benefit them (Jas 2:14-16)? One definition of love is satisfying the needs of others above and beyond your own needs: it is a love manifest in actions and not just mere words. Love includes giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, and clothes to the ill-clad.
Most people believe they do not have enough resources to help all of the poor; this is indeed true. Perhaps you are not wealthy; perhaps you cannot satisfy all the needs of this suffering world. But you can save some—even a few—from some of the burdens of survival; a little compassion can make a few lives just a little easier.
Jesus said, "Whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward" (Mt 10:42). A cup of cold water is an easy gift to give—something any willing soul can do. Yet to someone who is extremely thirsty, even a drop of water is so precious that upon receiving it, he or she is overcome with gratitude. Some acts of kindness are never forgotten.
The help which the poor require is analogous to a cup of cold water. If we are willing to extend our help, even a cup of cold water, then we will be lending to the Lord. If we have a heart of compassion, God will surely reward us for our kindness!