Presentation on theme: "How should Christians respond to Poverty & Hunger?"— Presentation transcript:
How should Christians respond to Poverty & Hunger?
I. PROVISION FOR THE POOR IN THE LAW A. AS CHARGED BY MOSES... 1.The poor were not to be charged interest for a loan – Ex 22:25 Ex 22:25 25 "If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. 2.The fruit of uncultivated ground during the seventh year was for the poor - Ex 23: Debts were to be cancelled every seven years - Deut 15:1-4 Israel was charged to be careful in their attitude toward the poor - Deut 15:7-11 How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
B. AS COUNSELED BY SOLOMON... 1.Happy is the one who shows kindness to the poor - Prov 14:21 5.He who gives to the poor will not lack, BUT he who hides his eyes will have many curses - Prov 28:27 2.He who oppresses the poor shows disrespect to his Maker - Prov 14:31 3.He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord who will pay him back - Prov 19:17 4.Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor, will cry and not be heard - Prov 21:13 How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
Such concern for the poor is a mark of righteousness and wisdom - Prov 29:7 Prov 29:7 7 The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. If the Law of Moses displayed such concern and provision for the poor, we should not be surprised to find a similar concern and provision in the gospel of Christ...
II. PROVISION FOR THE POOR IN THE GOSPEL A. AS COMMANDED BY JESUS… 1.In His sermon on the mount- Mt 5:42, Lk 6: eg. feeding of the 5000 Mt 14: In His words to one who invited Him into his home - Lk 14:12-14 Jesus taught we should be willing to help the poor How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
B. AS CHARGED BY HIS APOSTLES & PROPHETS… 1.Paul, in several of his epistles - Rom 12:13; 1Tim 6: The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews - Heb 13:16 3.James, in describing pure and undefiled religion before God - Jas 1:27 4.For needy Christians, churches were charged how to provide aid - With a weekly collection, as one prospers - 1Cor 16:1-2 and with thoughtful purpose, and a cheerful heart - 2Cor 9:1,7 Heb 13:16 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. James 1:27 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
As we have opportunity, we have the duty to do good unto all men - Gal 6:10 Gal 6:10 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
III. UNDERSTANDING THE POOR AND POVERTY A.THOSE WHO ARE POOR... 1.Includes those who may have absolutely nothing, or very little - cf. Mk 12:41-44 Mark 12: Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everythingall she had to live on. How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
B. CAUSES OF POVERTY Sometimes it is due to sinful actions on the part of the individual a. Laziness - Prov 6:6-11 b. Refusing to heed correction - Prov 13:18 Prov 13:18 18 He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored c. Pleasure seeking - Prov 21:17 d. Drunkenness, gluttony - Prov 23:21 How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
B. CAUSES OF POVERTY... 2.Other times it is due to sinful actions of other men a. High interest and extortion - Prov 28:8 b. Greed - Isa 3:14-15 c. Unfair labour practices - Jer 22:13 Jer 22:13 13 Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labor. How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
B. CAUSES OF POVERTY... d. Oppression - Amos 4:1 e. Persecution - 2Cor 8:1-2; Heb 10:32-34 Heb 10: Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
B. CAUSES OF POVERTY It can also be due to natural disasters a. Plague, economic depression, war b. Hurricane, earthquake, tsunami 4. It may be due to God's punishment a. As was the case in Haggai's day-Hag 1:5-11 b. Again in the days of Malachi - Mal 3:8-12 How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
B. CAUSES OF POVERTY It can be due to voluntary choice a. As in the case of Jesus - Lk 9:57-58 b. As in the case of His apostles - Mk 10:28; 2Cor 6:10 One cannot assume that poverty is due to laziness or wickedness How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
Poverty has many causes, and both Moses and Jesus taught the poor would be with us (Deut 15:11; Mt 26:11 ). God hears the cries of the poor ( Ps 69:33), and it is interesting to note how He made provision for them in both the Old and New Testament... How should Christians respond to Poverty and Hunger?
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What do the poor suffers from? 1.According to UNICEF, 25,000 children die each day due to poverty. - And they die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. -Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death. # information based on
What do the poor suffers from? 2.Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. - An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: - Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide. # information based on
What do the poor suffers from? 3. Water problems affect half of humanity: - Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to clean water billion lack basic sanitation. 4. Health of children Worldwide million children die each year because they are not immunized - 15 million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS (similar to the total children population in Germany or United Kingdom) # information based on
Our responses should be Respond with compassion. Having true compassion for the needy, as modelled by Jesus (Mark 8:2), means - we are aware of the need - we care about the people involved - we are ready to act on their behalf. Having compassion on a needy brother is proof of the love of God within us (1 John 3:1). We honour God when we are kind to the needy (Proverbs 14:31).
Our responses should be Respond with action. - pray for those in need - we should do all we can to alleviate their sufferings - what about starting a soup kitchen Examples: -give to organisations with ministries in helping them -who are the poor and marginalise in Spore & near us? a. guest workers, domestic helpers, neighbours, HDB cleaners b. foreign students, pei-du mama, # Afternote. Individuals in BSC has been involved in giving to Cyclone Nargis and earthquake in Sichun. Some individuals also went to the site to help as well. Praise God for these individuals.
Our responses should be Respond with hope. - we can act on behalf of the poor with the confidence that we are helping to further Gods work in the world: I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy (Psalm 140:12). Believers labor with the hope that Jesus will return, and with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth (Isaiah 11:4).
Our responses should be.... Matt 25: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matt 25:40 40 "The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. Let us sincerely consider todays message. Let God speak to you and me. What is my response? What is our response as a Church? Be specific with what, when and how you will want to fulfill what God has said to you.