Country Lights Uganda Blog
This is the two-hundred-seventh lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.” Luke 4:18
Some issues are complicated or even ambiguous in Christian belief and ethics. The issue of Christian response to the poor, however, is absolutely unambiguous. Every segment of the Old Testament, the New, and, in particular, the teaching of Jesus, sounds a clarion call: God has compassion for the poor. God will judge those who oppress or take advantage of the poor. God calls us to reduce the suffering of the poor. Let the words of Scripture itself ring out:
“Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt. Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry” (Exodus 22:21-27).
“He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31).
“Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people” (Isaiah 10:1-3).
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done” (Proverbs 19:17).
“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49).
“For I know how many are your offenses and how great your sins. You oppress the righteous and take bribes and you deprive the poor of justice in the courts” (Amos 5:12).
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1 John 3:17).
The “good news” that Jesus proclaimed to the poor is not just that he loves them, but that he has called vast armies of his people to come to their aid. Will we obey God, or not?
MAKE IT REAL
Find out today what avenues your church or other organization is committed to in the cause of compassion for the poor.
[If you believe this series will be helpful, this is the perfect time to forward this to a friend, a group, or a congregation, and tell them they too may sign up for the weekly emails here]
Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s teaching pastor. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel’s many books include Spiritual Leadership Today: Having Deep Influence in Every Walk of Life (Zondervan, 2016). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.
As reported on Christian News Uganda - Access the Original News Source Here.