Thursday, 30 July 2015

COMPASSION FOR THE POOR

Studying about being compassionate to the poor, I came upon this. It blessed me greatly and I want to share it.


COMPASSION FOR THE POOR
A person's character is measured less by wisdom or even religious commitments than by readiness to help the poor and the needy. It is not what you have that measures your character. Who you are to your neighbor is the measure of character. The Samaritan who saves his neighbor is closer to the kingdom of God than the spiritual priest

(LUKE 10:25-37) PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
   And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? ” So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.” But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.  Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side.  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion.  So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.  On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’  So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

TWO MAIN REASONS WHY WE MUST HAVE COMPASSION FOR THE POOR

1. FOR GOD'S SAKE: The first reason to make this a priority lies in God Himself, Who prefers human compassion for the poor over our religious zeal (proverbs 19:17 NKJV He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord , And He will pay back what he has given. And Proverbs 21:13 nkjv Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard.)
 Your sensitivity to the poor and your concrete deeds on their behalf will count more with God than will any of your pious acts. In fact, God personally invested in that work, so much so that when we give to the poor it is as if we are giving to God Himself

MATTHEW 25:35-40
   for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;  I was  naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?  When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?  Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ 

2. FOR THE SAKE OF THE POOR: The second reason lies within the poor person, whom God has created as much as the rich person has been (The rich and the poor have this in common, The Lord  is the maker of them all. PROVERBS 22:2). The equality between humans, based on the fact that God has created them all, makes the poor as worthy of attention as the rich person. We should love our neighbors for who they are: being made in the image of God.

 At the same time, think about how much good it does you to help those in need. Our basic nature are selfish; by default we tend to look out for ourselves over and above others. By giving of ourselves, we learn to die to self and better reflect Christ's character and WHAT IS OF MORE VALUE TO US THAN THAT?

REFERENCE:
Seventh Day Adventist Study guide, THE BOOK OF PROVERBS; Compassion for the poor. Wednesday, February 18, 2015.


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