A young guy had moved his family here from Texas. He came here to ‘learn the ropes’ of ministry, so to speak. After he’d been here a few years he felt like it was time to go back to his hometown and begin the work the Lord had for him. He asked me a question, “What would you do if you were me?” The typical answer that most leaders like myself would give would be to go back and start a church. But, unless the Lord has spoken clearly and specifically to do that…..I wouldn’t give that advice at all. I think my answer might have caught him a bit off-guard.
“I’d go back and find out ‘who’ the poor are in your town.” The poor look different from town to town and city to city, even region to region and state to state. “I’d find out who they are, where they live, where they congregate…..and what their real needs are. Then I’d find out how to help them and to serve them.” He asked me, “Why would you do that?” My answer was, “Because if you’ll make it a priority to help the poor, God will bless every other thing that you do!”
It’s true, we’ve made it a priority here, and I’ve seen it happen over the past 25+ years. The poor are very special to the Lord; so much so that if you’ll help them….he’ll help you! It’s a Biblical guarantee. “When you give to the poor, it’s like lending to God.” I’m gonna go out on a limb here (just kidding) and say that He’s a pretty decent bookkeeper!
If we really want to talk about doing the work(s) of Jesus and neglect the ministry to the poor….we’re missing a huge ingredient of what Jesus’ life was all about. In fact, if He came back today….I think the church would have some serious questions to answer. There’s great potential among the poor in your community. The poor traditionally have no voice….and, sadly, no one is contending for them.
Figure out a way to help them! It’s a sure-fire way to get blessed!!
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