Some People You Should Meet

For our Consumed Radio Broadcasts we are currently involved in a series discussing a Christian’s responsibility for the poor, needy, and underprivileged. Throughout the Bible, no matter what time frame, situation, or genre, we always see God’s heart for taking care of the poor. Here is just a sampling:

God’s thoughts and provision for the poor in the Law

“For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it.” – Exodus 23:10-11

“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” – Leviticus 19:9-10

“If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.” – Leviticus 25:35

Proverbs

If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered. – Proverbs 21:13

Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all. – Proverbs 22:2

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. – Proverbs 29:7

The disobedience of cities and people regarding taking care of the poor in the Prophets

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” – Ezekiel 16:49

You trample on the poor and force him to give you grain. Therefore, though you have built stone mansions, you will not live in them; though you have planted lush vineyards, you will not drink their wine. For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts. – Amos 5:11-12

Jesus’ words regarding the poor

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Luke 12:32-34

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” – Luke 14:12-14

In the writings of Acts and the Epistles we see the early church’s concern for those in need.

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor. About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. – Acts 9:36-37

The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. Acts 10:4

“After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings. I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance.” – Acts 24:17-18

Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. – Romans 15:25-27

James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do. – Galatians 2:9-11

You cannot go to any section of the Bible and miss the heart of God concerning the poor. It permeates all of Scripture. My prayer is that I would not be like the people of Sodom… “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” The bottom line is if I’m not doing anything to eradicate poverty in my world, I am unconcerned because I act upon the things I am concerned about.

I want to introduce you to a couple of people that are acting out their faith and making a difference in the world. I interviewed them for our last two broadcasts. Since we are a bit behind in putting our radio broadcasts on itunes, I wanted to make them available for you here. I have the links for both interviews and websites where you can gather information about what these individuals are doing. I hope their journeys either causes you to think how you can use the creativity inside of you to make a difference, join in with Dan or Donna by supporting their efforts, or both!

Enjoy…

Dan Occhiogrosso

Radio Broadcast (The interview takes place over the internet. Please excuse the quality)

Ball for Lives

Donna Imel

Radio Broadcast (The interview takes place over the internet. Please excuse the quality)

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