I stayed up way past my bedtime last night. My son Josh and his wife Kayci were in town. Josh spoke at our church last night, and did an incredible job.
Josh has such a passion for the poor. So, we stayed up late -- sitting on the patio talking about the plight of the poor, and the failure of the government, the church, etc. to adequately address this issue. We've all heard people say, "God helps those who help themselves." That's not in Scripture. In fact, when it comes to spiritual matters -- that statement is even unbiblical. But Paul does say, "If a man will not work, he shall not eat" (2 Thess. 5: 8). And he said that anyone who does not provide for for his family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim. 5: 8).
So, yes, those verses address those who refuse to work. But people are poor for any number of reasons. And there is no way to morally place them all in the same box. I was especially convicted last night as Josh said that, for the most part -- we never even see the poor. They live "over there." Rarely do we even encounter them.
I want to challenge us today to have the eyes of Jesus. And let His words from Matthew 25 penetrate our hearts and work on our consciences today:
"Then the righteous will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, our thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
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.'"