Help the Needy; Show People the Love of God

Why should you HELP THE NEEDY? Read this to get the Bible answer.

Revised:
Sunday, July 3, 2022

Help the Needy – Intro

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Assignment or act of genuine love?

Please pray with an open mind that the Lord will give you guidance and proper understanding. This Bible study should assist by pointing to Scriptures related to helping those in need.

According to the Scriptures who are required to or should help the needy? Is it an assignment, given to certain people, for instance, deacons[1]?

Now God has placed some [ministries] in the church [as follows]: First apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then; miracles, then gifts [enabling people] to perform [supernatural] healings, [those able] to help the needy, [wise] administrators, [and] those able to speak in different languages. 1 Corinthians 12:28 (AUV) [read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (27-28); Acts 6:1-10; 8:5-17]

On the other hand, is it showing genuine love (imparted by the Holy Spirit) and not a requirement or assignment? Please continue reading to get the answer!

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Help the Needy

The Corinthians

Bible Exposition Commentary – They were so wrapped up in the gifts of the Spirit that they had neglected the graces of the Spirit, including the grace of giving. The Defender’s Study Bible – Note that giving and sharing of one’s means is called a “grace”—just as faith, love, etc. J. Vernon McGee’s Thru the Bible – Paul is urging the Corinthians to show the proof of their love.

But just as you excel in everything [else]; in your faith, in your speaking; in your knowledge [Note: Possibly these refer to spiritual gifts. See I Corinthians 12:8-10], in your eagerness [to serve], and in your love for us, now you people should also excel in this favorable work [i.e., of giving financial help to needy people]. 2 Corinthians 8:7 (AUV)

The church united and cared for each other

And all those who were of the faith kept together, and had all things in common; 45 And exchanging their goods and property for money, they made division of it among them all, as they had need. Acts 2:44-45 (BBE) [read Acts 4:32-37 (32, 34-35)]

As a child of God, we should ask “how can I help the needy—those in need of help”? The word needy can mean different things, I focus on two in this Bible study: the homeless and the poor.

James 2:15-17 (CEV)

If you know someone [a brother or sister in Christ] who doesn’t have any clothes or food, 16 you shouldn’t just say, “I hope all goes well for you. I hope you will be warm and have plenty to eat.” What good is it to say this [your words are worth nothing], unless you do something to help? 17 Faith that doesn’t lead us to do good deeds is all alone and dead!

Skip to the end.

The Homeless

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Help the Needy “For I was hungry, and you gave me no food: I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and you did not take me in: naked, and you did not clothe me: sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.”
Matthew 25:42-43 (RKJNT)

Jesus said to His disciples: Sell your possessions and give to those in need. (CEB) – Luke 12:22-34 (33) ♦ Paul said: I came to bring gifts for the needy… (WEB) – Acts 24:10-21 (17) ♦ Paul taught and was mindful of sisters and brothers aiding each other: I am on my way to Jerusalem to minister to [the needs of] God’s holy people there. 26 For [the Christians in] Macedonia and Achaia [Note: These were provinces in Greece] thought it was a good idea to take up an offering for the poor saints at Jerusalem. (AUV) – Romans 15:22-33 (25-28); 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15; Galatians 2:6-10 (10; relief to Judea in time of crisis Acts 11:27-30)]

Galatians 2:10 (EXB)

The only thing they {James, Peter, and John} asked us was to remember to help the poor [meaning especially the poor believers in Jerusalem; Acts 11:27–30]—something I really wanted [myself was eager/zealous] to do.

Failure to help the poor and needy was one of the reasons the Lord reprimanded Jerusalem and destroyed Sodom.

Ezekiel 16:48-50 (BBE)

By my life, says the Lord, Sodom your sister never did, she or her daughters, what you and your daughters have done. 49 Truly, this was the sin of your sister Sodom: pride, a full measure of food, and the comforts of wealth in peace, were seen in her and her daughters, and she gave no help to the poor or to those in need. 50 They were full of pride and did what was disgusting to me: and so I took them away as you have seen.”

In 2015 Habitat for Humanity issued a report on the current global housing crisis, “Today, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate shelter around the world; 1 billion of those live in informal settlements. More than 100 million people worldwide are homeless.[2]” Did you know that many cities are making it illegal to beg or ask for help in public places? Some cities in the USA give the homeless a one-way ticket to other cities or states[3], we met a few in Waikiki who were from “the mainland”. Would you want to be treated this way? Do we have to be religious to want to help those in need? You may ask “is feeding and clothing the homeless my responsibility?” We must remember they are still human and need food and clothing every day.

Proverbs 3:27-28 (ETR)

Do everything you possibly can for those who need help. 28 If your neighbor needs something you have, don’t say, “Come back tomorrow.” Give it to him immediately.

A prayer for our leaders

Teach the king to judge with your righteousness, O God; share with him your own justice, 2 so that he will rule over your people with justice and govern the oppressed with righteousness. 3 May the land enjoy prosperity; may it experience righteousness. 4 May the king judge the poor fairly; may he help the needy and defeat their oppressors. 5 May your people worship you as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon gives light, for ages to come.
Psalm 72:1-5 (GNT)

Follow the lead of the psalmist and pray for your leaders, our focus is on guidance in judging and providing help to those in need. An example of the leaders in the USA would be those in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government.

Open your homes to each other [and share your food] without grumbling or complaining. 1 Peter 4:9 | compare translations

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“But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest.”
James 3:17 (ERV)

We should do our best to use God’s wisdom which is: ♦ pure, peaceful, gentle ♦ easy to please ♦ always ready to help people and do good for others ♦ fair and honest {from James 3:17}.

Please do not step over a person when you see them lying on the sidewalk or avoid them because of their appearance or body odor. Some of us are a paycheck away from being in their place, think of how you would like to be treated. Not all homeless people are lazy, careless, drug addicts, criminals, or alcoholics. Some of us treat animals better than we do humans. Have you tried helping the needy or those living in poverty?

1 Peter 4:7-11 (The Message)

Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything. Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully. Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it: if words, let it be God’s words; if help, let it be God’s hearty help. That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes!

Absence of Home

Absence of home may include a range of experiences and deprivations, both physical and social. In some circumstances, absence of physical shelter may be the primary concern, in other contexts, lack of access to land may be equally critical. While some residents of informal settlements do not self identify as homeless but are rather struggling for upgrading, services and security of existing homes, for others who live in precarious situations, sometimes renting informally and subject to eviction at a moment’s notice or in grossly inadequate shelter, informality is a form of homelessness. Intertwined with physical deprivations and lack of security is the loss of social connection — the feeling of “belonging nowhere.” For street connected children, homelessness may be experienced as a reliance on substitute social connections, established for survival on the street.

Jesus and His disciples were homeless

Jesus and His followers were homeless. Do what you can each time you have the chance to help a homeless person.

Matthew 8:20 But Jesus said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but I, the Messiah, have no home of my own—no place to lay my head.” (TLB)

1 Corinthians 4:10-13 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now. (NKJV)

Don’t forget to do good things for others and to share what you have with them. These are the kinds of sacrifices that please God. Hebrews 13:16 (GW)

Skip to the end.

The Poor

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Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
1 Peter 4:9 (NLT)

You should defend those who cannot help themselves. 9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice. ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭31:8-9‬ ‭(TLB)

Those living in poverty/poor people

Have you ever been poor and not known it? As a boy living in county-provided housing, I did not realize we were poor. My mother made sure we had all we needed. We learned how to survive and appreciate what we had.

Now that I am older, I realize we were poor from an economic point of view. Like Paul, I can say I know what it is like to go without. As a result, I have compassion for the poor.

Do you talk to poor people? To someone who is living in poverty? Do you avoid certain areas to escape this reality?

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who abuse you. 29 And to him who strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold your shirt either.

30 Give to every man who asks of you; and from him who takes away what is yours, do not ask for it back. 31 And as you would have men do to you, do the same to them. Luke 6:27-31 (RKJNT)

Be a giver

Give to any person who asks you for something. If a person takes something from you, do not ask for it back. 31 Do for other people what you would like to have them do for you..” — Jesus – Luke 6:30-31 (NLV)

“Now I am putting you in the care of God and the message about his grace. That message is able to give you strength, and it will give you the blessings that God has for all his holy people. 33 When I was with you, I never wanted anyone’s money or fine clothes. 34 You know that I always worked to take care of my own needs and the needs of those who were with me. 35 I showed you in all things that you should work as I did and help the weak. I taught you to remember the words of Jesus. He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:32-35 (ICB)

In richer countries, like the USA and UK, where their poor are a minority the first requirement for any real solution to that poverty is to convince the majority in those countries that they will benefit by abolishing poverty in their own country. Unfortunately, most of the majority may often have come to like having a poor minority and to believing wrongly that having a poor minority benefits the majority economically. – World Poverty, a look at causes and solutions

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“If you won’t help the poor, don’t expect to be heard when you cry out for help.”
Proverbs 21:13 (CEV)

2 Corinthians 9:6-11 (NIRV)

Here is something to remember. The one who plants only a little will gather only a little. And the one who plants a lot will gather a lot. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn’t give if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to shower all kinds of blessings on you. So in all things and at all times you will have everything you need. You will do more and more good works. 9 It is written,

They have spread their gifts around to poor people. Their good works continue forever.” (Psalm 112:9)

10 God supplies seed for the person who plants. He supplies bread for food. God will also supply and increase the amount of your seed. He will increase the results of your good works. 11 You will be made rich in every way. Then you can always give freely. We will take your many gifts to the people who need them. And they will give thanks to God.

One of the qualities of the virtuous woman is that “She opens her arms to the poor; yes, she extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20 (WEB)

Skip to the end.

Conclusion

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“Share your food with the hungry and bring poor, homeless people into your own homes. When you see someone who has no clothes, give him yours, and don’t refuse to help your own relatives.”
Isaiah 58:7 (NCV)

Right now, however, I’m going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints, 26 because the believers in Macedonia and Achaia have been eager to share their resources with the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27 Yes, they were eager to do this, and in fact they are obligated to help them, for if the gentiles have shared in their spiritual blessings, they are obligated to be of service to them in material things. 28 So when I have completed this task and have put my seal on this contribution of theirs, I will visit you on my way to Spain. 29 And I know that when I come to you I will come with the full blessing of the Messiah. Romans 15:25-29 (ISV)

Often we will miss the proper understanding of Scripture if we do not study or read enough. Romans 15:25 is one verse that I use as an example. The KJV says “But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.” If we did not read verses 26 and 27, most would think Paul meant to preach. Consider this: the phrase ‘to minister’ in verse 25 is the Greek diakoneo – to minister i.e. supply food and necessities of life 1. to relieve one’s necessities (e.g. by collecting alms), to provide take care of, distribute, the things necessary to sustain life 2. to take care of the poor and the sick. Paul was actually saying he was going to Jerusalem to help the needy (bring aid to the) saints.

Show love through your actions

We know what love is because Jesus Christ gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 Suppose someone sees a brother or sister in need and is able to help them. And suppose that person doesn’t take pity on these needy people. Then how can the love of God be in that person? 1 John 3:16-17 (NIRV)

Hopefully, you will be willing to do what you can to show people the love of God and help the needy! Helping the homeless and the poor is part of ministry and genuine love, as demonstrated by Jesus, His disciples, and the churches in the Bible. Follow the example of Jesus and the Apostles; help the needy and be blessed Tim.

Scriptures to read and study

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (27-28); Acts 6:1-10; 8:5-17; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (3); Romans 12:3-8 (8); James 2:14-26
[focus verses: 14-17; (15-16)]; Acts 2:40-47 (44-45); 4:32-37 (32, 34-35).

Matthew 25:31-46 (41-43); Luke 12:22-34 (33); Acts 24:10-21 (17); Romans 15:22-33 (25-28); 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; Galatians 2:6-10 (10); Acts 11:27-30 (29-30); Ezekiel 16:44-59 (48-50); Psalm 72:1-5; 1 Peter 4:7-11 (9); James 3:13-18 (17); Matthew 8:18-22 (20); 1 Corinthians 4:6-13 (10-11); Hebrews 13:7-17 (16)

Luke 6:27-36 (30-31); 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 (10-12); Acts 20:17-38 (33-35); 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15 [focus verses: 8:6-15; 9:7, 9, and 12-13; compare Proverbs 22:9; Psalms 112:9]; Proverbs 31:10-31 (20)

Isaiah 58:6-9 (key verse:7); Romans 15:22-33 (25-27); 1 John 3:16-23 (17)

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.

Sources:

[1] Deacons – ISBE[2] World Habitat Day 2015 key housing facts | Habitat for Humanity Int’l[3] One-Way Tickets for Homeless? —By Ben BuchwalterHawaii To Buy 1-Way Flights For Homeless People To Keep Them Away From Tourists

Related articles:

Hunger and Poverty section – Share International archives || Share No More: October, 2014 Report “The Criminalization of Efforts to Feed People In Need” || Poverty Facts and Stats — Global Issues‘ – globalissues.org || National Coalition for the Homeless No Picnic in the Park – National Coalition for the Homeless || ‘homelessness‘ – wikipedia.org

Get Help

Homeless Shelters, Emergency Housing and Transitional Housing in America

Question for “help the needy”: Are you doing your part to help the needy?


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4 thoughts on “Help the Needy; Show People the Love of God


  1. God bless you; please continue to do all you can to help the needy, amen!


  2. You are absolutely right brother Tim. I thank the LORD for allowing me to be able to help 2 mentally challenged men that I take care of in a group home. I am expecting another one next month. I try my best to help anyone in anyway I can. I feel so blessed and loved by GOD and all that he allows me to do. The past few years I have helped a lot of people and it feels good when someone says thank you. I appreciate what you’ve done for me. GLORY be YOUR name JESUS. HALLELUJAH 🙂 🙂 🙂


  3. Unfortunately few will acknowledge the word of God and make the change.


  4. Very good blog! My hope is that people who choose to step over or deliberately act invisible, will wake up and demonstrate compassion for those in need.

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