Poverty is a grievous problem – one that causes much suffering and pain. As Christians, we would not turn away from helping someone. The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:10, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” First, we are to help fellow Christians, then all the rest of mankind.
James 2:15 -17 (NIV), “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
God’s love acts to help. In a similar manner, “…the love of Christ compels us (to help others),… those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (CSB). Helping the needy manifests God’s love. (See the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37.)
Remember: “He (God) has committed the message of reconciliation to us.” 2 Corinthians 5:19 (CSB). Our main purpose in life is to preach the gospel. Jesus said,“for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth.” John 18:37 (NKJV). Whatever opportunities come into our lives should be used to witness to God’s plan.
Is there a personal limit to extending help to others? Yes. 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV), “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
Therefore, our efforts should be directed as follows: first, we are to provide for our relatives, then our fellow believers, and finally for the world as we have opportunity.
It will take Christ’s righteous reign on Earth to completely abolish hunger and poverty. Isaiah 49:10,13 (NIV), “They will neither hunger nor thirst,…He who has compassion on them will guide them…Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”