Luke 19:8-10, And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Proverbs 19:17, He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Last night, just before I preached at my home church, they read a Prayer Update from one of our missionaries. He and his family are serving in the country of Panama. While I was in the military, I had a chance to spend about a month in this country. For a 19-year old young man from America, the poverty was gut-wrenching to say the least. This missionary mentioned that many of the children in his country only eat one meal a day and his church is doing something about it.
Then this morning, I read the passages above. Great reset button!
There are very few topics, if any, found in all of the Bible, that are mentioned more than the topic of God’s heart for the poor and the needy, and His expectation for us, His people, to meet the needs of the poor around the corner and around the world!
When Zacchaeus trusted Christ and was converted, immediately, he was willing to GIVE HALF HIS GOODS TO THE POOR!
How about us?
Whether it is the passages above, which I read this morning, the passages below, or the hundreds of other passages that could be cited, it is very apparent that the God we claim to serve has a heart for the poor, and He expects His children to have that same heart!
Deuteronomy 15:7-11, If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: 8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. … 10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
1 John 3:16-18, Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
James 2:14-18, What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Zacchaeus was willing to give half of his goods to the poor. What are we willing to GIVE for the sake of the poor? Where are we willing to GO for the sake of the poor