Help the Needy; Show People the Love of God

Last update: Monday, July 1, 2019

Help the Needy

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Help the Needy – assignment or act of genuine love?

1 Corinthians 12:28 Now God has placed some [ministries] in the church [as follows]: First apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then [those able to perform] 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. (AUV)

[read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (key verses: 27-28); Acts 6:1-10; 8:5-17]

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Help the Needy

According to the Scriptures who is required to help the needy? Is it an assignment, given to certain people, for instance deacons[1] [compare 1 Corinthians 12:5] or part of genuine love (imparted by the Holy Spirit) [read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (key verse: 3); Romans 12:3-8 (key verse: 8)]? 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 this topic.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profits me nothing. (UKJV)

The church united and caring for each other

James 2:15-16 If a brother or a sister is without clothing and in need of the day’s food, 16 And one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warm and full of food; but you do not give them the things of which their bodies have need, what profit is there in this? (BBE) ♦ Acts 2:44-45 And all who believed (who adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus Christ) were united and [together] they had everything in common; 45 And they sold their possessions (both their landed property and their movable goods) and distributed the price among all, according as any had need. (AMPC) [read Acts 4:32-37 (key verses: 32, 34-35)]

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

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Help the Needy
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)

Help the needy – the homeless

Jesus said to His disciples: Sell your possessions and give to those in need. (CEB) – Luke 12:22-34 (key verse: 33) ♦ Paul said: I came to bring gifts for the needy… (WEB) – Acts 24:10-21 (key verse: 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 (key verses: 25-28); 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15; Galatians 2:6-10 (key verse: 10; relief to Judea in time of crisis Acts 11:27-30)]

Failure to help the poor and needy was one of the reasons the Lord reprimanded Jerusalem; Ezekiel 16:48-50 “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.” (BBE)

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.

A prayer for our leaders

Psalm 72:1-5 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. (GNT)

Follow the lead of the psalmist and pray for your leaders, our focus is for guidance in judging and providing help to those in need.

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 pay check 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 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! (The Message)

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 disciples 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)

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Help the Needy
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)

Helping the needy – those living in poverty / poor people

Have you ever been considered poor and not known it? As a boy living in the county provided housing, I did not realize we were poor. My mother made sure we had all we needed that she was able to give us. We learned how to survive with only what we needed. Now that I am older, I realize we were poor from an economic point of view. But this is not about me, it is about those who live in poverty NOW. Experience can help you see things from a different viewpoint. Have you ever taken the time to talk to people who are poor? To someone who is living in poverty? Do you avoid certain areas so that you never have to face this reality?

Luke 6:27-31 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. (RKJNT)

What about Lazy Christians?

2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 [For even] When we were with you, we gave you this rule [instruction; command]: “Anyone who refuses [is not willing] to work should not eat.” 11 [For; or Yet] We hear that some people in your group refuse to work [or are behaving irresponsibly; are living/walking in idleness/disorder]. They do nothing but busy themselves [meddle; interfere] in other people’s lives. 12 We command those [such] people and beg [urge; encourage; exhort] them in the Lord Jesus Christ to work quietly [or settle down] and earn [eat] their own food [bread]. (EXB)

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)

Acts 20:32-35 “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.’” (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

graphic for help the needy - prv21-13
“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 9:6-15 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.

12 Your gifts meet the needs of the Lord’s people. And that’s not all. Your gifts also cause many people to thank God. 13 You have shown yourselves to be worthy by what you have given. So other people will praise God because you obey him. That proves that you really believe the good news about Christ. They will also praise God because you share freely with them and with everyone else. 14 Their hearts will be filled with love for you when they pray for you. God has given you grace that is better than anything. 15 Let us give thanks to God for his gift. It is so great that no one can tell how wonderful it really is! (NIRV)

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)

If you have more time to study, please continue. If not, please jump to the end to give feedback in the comment area/poll. Go to end.

Scriptures to read and study

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (key verses: 27-28); Acts 6:1-10; 8:5-17; 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (key verse: 3); Romans 12:3-8 (key verse: 8); James 2:14-26 (focus verses: 14-17; key verses: 15-16); Acts 2:40-47 (key verses: 44-45); Acts 4:32-37 (key verses: 32, 34-35) ♦ Matthew 25:31-46 (key verses: 41-43); Luke 12:22-34 (key verse: 33); Acts 24:10-21 (key verse: 17); Romans 15:22-33 (key verses: 25-28); 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15 (focus verses: 6-15; key verses: 12-13); Galatians 2:6-10 (key verse: 10; Acts 11:27-30 {key verses: 29-30}); Ezekiel 16:44-59 (key verses: 48-50); Psalm 72:1-5; 1 Peter 4:7-11 (key verse: 9); James 3:13-18 (key verse: 17); Matthew 8:18-22 (key verse: 20); 1 Corinthians 4:6-13 (key verses: 10-11); Hebrews 13:7-17 (key verse: 16) ♦ Luke 6:27-36 (key verses: 30-31); 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15 (key verses: 10-12); Acts 20:17-38 (key verses: 33-35); 2 Corinthians 8:1-9:15 (focus verses: 6-15; key verse: 9; compare Proverbs 22:9; Psalms 112:9); Proverbs 31:10-31 (key verse: 20) ♦ Isaiah 58:6-9 (key verse:7); Romans 15:22-33 (key verses: 25-27); 1 John 3:16-23 (key verse: 17)

Help the Needy
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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)

Romans 15:25-29 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. (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.

1 John 3:16-17 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? (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.


[1] Helps – 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‘ – || National Coalition for the Homeless No Picnic in the Park – National Coalition for the Homeless || ‘homelessness‘ –

Get Help

Homeless Shelters, Emergency Housing and Transitional Housing in America

Question for “help the needy”: Are you ready to help the needy?

See what is available on the Sound Truth Ministry website.
Copyright information:
(AMPC) Scripture taken from the Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. || (AUV) It is our understanding that the An Understandable Version is in the creative commons via e-Sword || (BBE) Bible in Basic English – public domain. || Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible Scripture quoted by permission. || Scripture quotations marked (CEV) are from the Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by American Bible Society, Used by Permission. || (ERV) Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: EASY-TO-READ VERSION © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center, Inc. and used by permission. || (EXB) The Expanded Bible Scripture taken from The Expanded Bible. Copyright ©2011 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (GNT) and (TEV) Scripture quotations marked (GNT) are from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission. || (GW) Scripture is taken from GOD’S WORD®, © 1995 God’s Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group. || (ICB) Scripture taken from the International Children’s Bible®. Copyright © 1986, 1988, 1999 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (ISV) Scripture taken from the Holy Bible: International Standard Version®. Copyright © 1996-forever by The ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission. || (NCV) Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || (NIRV) Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version®, NIrV® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. The “NIrV” and “New International Reader’s Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ || (NKJV) Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. || Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. || (NLV) It is our understanding that the New Life Version is in the public domain via New Life Version – || (RKJNT) Revised King James New Testament – public domain. || (TLB) Scripture quotations marked (TLB) are taken from The Living Bible copyright © 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. || (The Message) Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. || (UKJV) The Updated King James Version (UKJV) is in the Public Domain, I love Jesus (UKJV). || (WEB) World English Bible – public domain.


7 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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