Sometimes I feel such great sadness when I get letters from Africa, India, Pakistan and other places, and the people are suffering greatly.
No food in the house, children cannot go to school because they do not have paid education like we have, no jobs, people gravely ill and no way to pay for the treatment.
Time and again I get these letters and I feel helpless.
I am only one Christian among MILLIONS in America, it is all of our obligation because I am speaking about helping Christians.
Why does it make me sad? Because I am doing all that I can with what the Lord gives me.
I wonder what I can possibly do, there are so many needs and all i can help is a small handful of people.
Working when I should be retired.
It is often a sacrifice, not to my glory but to God's.
I want to SERVE HIM until the day I die.
touching as many lives for Christ as I can.
I don't care about houses or possessions, or money. I care about people especially the hurting and poor.
Yet the majority of the church is giving huge amounts to their Pastor and they are building huge mega buildings to house the church.
For what purpose? Did God say in the word to build huge buildings?
Do you think it might be to ATTRACT more people with more money?
It certainly is not because they want the people to hear the truth of the gospel? That has gone by the way side and the birds have eaten it.
Pastors driving Mercedes, living in multi million dollar homes all paid for by their congregation that virtually has forgotten what God has said about the poor.
They must give their 10% so that THEY will be blessed, this is what they are taught.
They go on themselves in love with the world and mammon, while their brothers and sisters around the world suffer greatly.
That isn't even including the Christians that have gone around the world for the gospel sake and have put their life on the line and become martyrs.
This man-made prosperity doctrine has been brought to other nations, it is now predominating the African people, those teaching this doctrine are rich and the people do not have food to feed their own children.
They have to push them out of the home so there is enough food to eat for the few.
So thus we have street orphans.
It grieves me so much and yet the tithe is preached so that it appears that the Pastor is the only one to be cared for by the body.
Cared for, the bible says nothing about making sure he lives in a Multi million dollar mansion, wear Armani suits and have the best of the best, while his congregation is suffering.
In America, people are at least able to work to get the things they want or need. So for the most part Americans do not suffer like in the third world countries, they at least have welfare for the poor, but those I speak of in other countries are your brothers and sisters, and there are no resources and few jobs to pursue.
ALL THEY HAVE IS FAITH IN THE LIVING GOD. HE IS THEIR HOPE.
But what about all the scriptures that say to feed the poor widows and orphans, to help other poor brothers and sisters, there is actually more said about that through out the whole bible then giving to the Pastor.
I want to show you something. When Jesus was beholding the rich man He loved Him. Jesus loved this man and He wanted to save him, but he said "One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell what you have and give to the poor, and thou will have treasure in heaven, take up thy cross and follow me."
Jesus is showing us beyond keeping His commandments, he is showing us something much deeper we need to do.
We need to let go of our selfish wants and pick up our cross and follow Him.
I know this is not a popular message today, people aren't into suffering for anything or anyone.
Certainly not for the Lord who saved US, not having to go out of our way to meet with Him, to give up something, the good life to help those who suffer in body and spirit.
But He is telling this man to sell what he has and give to the poor, suffer a little, take up your cross, as Jesus did for the world, suffer for others a little.
We can do a lot of works, we can do all the right things, just as Jesus told the rich man, but the one thing he didn't want to do, was to sell all he had and give to the poor.
The point was he had amassed so much for self, and he cared nothing for the poor, his "stuff" meant more to him then the poor. EVEN HIS OWN SALVATION.
In Luke 18, It says that when the rich man heard this he went away very sorrowful, because he was rich, He wanted it all here, even though Jesus said he would receive a treasure in heaven, he went away sad because he didn't want to give up anything in this life.
I know many of you are taught that we don't have to suffer, that Jesus wants us to be rich in goods, wealthy.
If that is true why then does He tell us, not to lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust corrupts, where thieves break in and steal.
Where our treasure is, that is where our heart is.
Jesus knew that no man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one, and love the other. Or he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon which is wealth, the riches of the world.
Because He knows when we do, we love the world and its riches and we forget him and those in need.
I am reminded of the sheep and the goats, and when judgment comes, the Son of man shall come in His glory and all the holy angels with Him, then He shall sit upon the throne of glory, and before Him all the nations of the earth shall be gathered, and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats, the sheep on his right hand and the goats on the left.
He is going to say: "Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the world.
He is going to say to the righteous: "I was hungry and you gave me meat, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me: I was in prison and you came unto me.
Then the righteous will answer Him, when did we see you as a stranger and take you in?
When did we see you naked and clothe you, or when were you sick or in prison and we came unto you?
"In as much as you have done it unto one if the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me"
Compassion, and mercy is part of true faith and salvation. It is a part of loving our neighbor as ourselves.
To those on his left he said "Depart from Me, Ye are cursed , into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels".
Because they didn't do it to one of the least of these, they did not do it unto Jesus.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment but to the righteous into eternal life.
Jesus gave the rich man an example of loving our neighbor.
When Jesus told the rich man to sell all he had and give it to the poor, he began trying to justify himself and said" Who is my neighbor"?
Jesus answered and said a certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. he fell among thieves who stole his clothes, wounded him and left him half dead.
A priest came by and happened to see him and he crossed out of his way to avoid him.
Then a Levite came by and looked at his naked wounded body and then crossed by to the other side.
But then a Samaritan, a man hated by the Jews came to where he was lying looked on him and had COMPASSION on him.
He went to him, leaned down and he bound his wounds, pouring in oil and wine and then he put him on his donkey and took him to the nearest inn, and took care of him.
On the next day he departed but first gave money to the inn keeper and told him to take care of the man, and when he returned he woukd repay him for whatever he spent.
Jesus asked the rich man, which of these do you think was neighbor to him that fell among the thieves?
And the rich man said:"The one who showed mercy" And Jesus said; "Go and do likewise." Luke 10:30-37
Isn't Jesus showing us that we need to be merciful?
Jas 2:5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Jas 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Jas 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
Jas 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Jas 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Brother and sister, we are the body of Christ and if Christ has done these things should we not?
If Christ has said we should do these things should we not obey?
If the Holy Spirit pricks your heart obey Him, if He doesn't then I would and ask God as to whether you might be like the rich man or worse, a goat.
What would it take to make room in your heart to help someone in need?
I know there is always a chance it is a scam, but what is more important?
You saving the money for yourself, or obeying Jesus commands to love on another, to love our neighbor, to have compassion and mercy on our suffering brothers and sisters.
Believe me, I have been scammed but I am still obeying God, I am still doing it unto Him, as unto him.
Obeying is better then sacrifice.
What do you have to lose? It can all be lost in the stock market, it can be lost in the house you bought, it could be lost so many ways.
Food is flushed down the toilet, in the end all of our things will eventually be burned, and who will you leave them to?
But Jesus is saying when you reach out to the poor, our brothers and sisters around the world who just need hope, you are reaching out to Him.
They are crying out to God for their needs, they are crying out for God for help, they are seeking Him.
You could be their answer, you could be the one to give them hope in Christ, for them to see He is our provider and we can count on Him.
You could also be helping someone to turn to Christ and see a soul saved.
It hurts me to hear of people who want to give up, the Lord wants us to give until it hurts, then maybe we have given enough.
That is taking up our cross, as He told the rich man.
If he gives you riches it is so that you will reach out with it to others.
2Co 8:13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
2Co 8:14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
2Co 8:15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
Just like the children of Israel, when they gathered manna. They were not to gather more then they could eat that day.
If they obeyed, they lacked nothing.
Beloved reach out, even if it is to only ONE.
Reach out with Christ's love, HE may be waiting in the disguise of a hurting person.
Do it one person at a time, that is all it takes.
If Christ tells you to do more, then obey but start with JUST ONE.
Wow--powerful, Shanna! Well-written, and what's more, your passion is genuine. Praise God for your testimony.
I was thinking the other day that Marxism would never have gotten off the ground if the church was sharing the way Christ meant for us to do!
Bless you for writing this. I'm going to share it with my precious niece, who works with the street children in Galati, Romania.