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Care for the neglected (2)

17 April 2023 ‘He defended the cause of the poor and needy…so all went well.’ Jeremiah 22:16 NIV

When writer Jim Wallis was a theology student, he and some of his classmates took scissors to a Bible and cut out every verse about poverty, wealth, justice, or oppression. By the time they had finished, there were about two thousand verses lying on the floor! The fact is, when we cut concern for the poor out of the Bible, we cut the heart right out of it! Here’s one important verse: ‘“He defended the cause of the poor and needy…so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the Lord’ (v.16 NIV). Jesus often quoted Scripture, but only on one occasion do we find Him selecting and reading from it. And this is the portion He chose to read publicly: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor…to proclaim freedom for the prisoners…recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free’ (Luke 4:18 NIV). Here was His to-do list: help for body and soul, strength for the physical and spiritual, and therapy for now and for the eternal. A minority of people are poor because they’re lazy and need to be taught that God’s Word says, ‘Those unwilling to work will not get to eat’ (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NLT). But most who are poor are in that situation because illness has weakened their bodies, or they live under corrupt systems, or rising costs have priced them out of a decent standard of living, or they’re prey for people who enjoy cheating and using those who are vulnerable to attack. These are the people God has assigned us to care for!

Archive

The right balance Tuesday 28 May
Are you a true friend? Monday 27 May
Don’t strike back Sunday 26 May
Train your brain Saturday 25 May
Stand on God’s Word (5) Friday 24 May
Stand on God’s Word (4) Thursday 23 May
Stand on God’s Word (3) Wednesday 22 May

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