Archive for the ‘poverty’ Category

19:17 Lending to the Lord

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and he will pay back what he has given. Proverbs 19:17

Elizabeth of Hungary feeding the poor.

Fabiola, Basil the Great, Elizabeth of Hungary, Vincent de Paul, George Müller, John Barnardo, William Booth, Carolyn Chisholm, William Passavant…these and many other names in Christian history wear an aura of glory because they cared for the poor. God blessed them with all they needed in their own lives and multiplied their ability to help others.

Each was a fitting representative of their master, who went about helping the neediest and most sorrowful of his day. He gave an incentive to doing good when he promised, “whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)

13:23 Poverty Through Injustice

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

A poor man’s field may produce abundant food, but injustice sweeps it away. Proverbs 13:23

Sebastian Vranx (1573-1643): Soliders plundering a farmhouse.

During the Thirty Years’ War, many Germans starved to death. Marauding armies moved across the country again and again seizing whatever food the peasants produced. Many became so discouraged they stopped planting. Injustice had swept prosperity away.

Economies falter from injustice, too. When government policies rob hard-earned profits from businessmen to funnel to their allies and supporters—or to the idle—production drops. “What is the use?” businessmen may think, and move their money to safer havens.

So far from being unjust, Jesus honored the smallest contribution of the weakest saint. He noticed the widow who gave her last tiny coin, and He promised reward to anyone who even gives just giving a cup of water to one of his brethren “for my name’s sake.”

12:11 Frivolity or Labor?

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

Space Invaders

He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding.

Years ago, I banned video games from my home and pulled my computer games into the trash, too. Too often they had held me captive longer than they should. I knew first-hand just how addictive they could be and saw how pernicious they were for some young men who lived with us. When they should have been finding work and taking their first steps to success they were instead battling imaginary enemies. Unable to conquer their sins and worthless desires, they fancied themselves conquerors of empires.

We are never shown Jesus indulging in an act of personal amusement. He came to do a job and did it. When his enemies took up stones to kill him he said, “Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do you stone me?” (John 10:32).

22:2 No More Rich vs. Poor

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

Karl Marx raged against the rich.

Karl Marx raged against the rich.

Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is Creator of them all.

It is common for Marxists to rage against the rich. It is common for the rich to denigrate the poor and commoners as Gasset y Ortega did in The Revolt of the Masses. Either attitude is wrong. Rich and poor are on the same plane before God. He made both categories. Wealthy and impoverished alike are sinners before him. As Scriptures says, “He imprisoned all men under disobedience so that he might have mercy on them all.” (Romans 11:32)

Jesus dealt as easily with the wealthy as with the impoverished. He was equally master whether he mingled in the top or the bottom of society. He rebuked the rich as readily as the poor. There was no favoritism with him. In this, as in all things, he lived out the Word of God.