Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. Proverbs 21:13
READ: Matthew 25:32-46
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Many Christians don’t realise the dangers inherent in ignoring the poor around them. From today’s Bible reading, we see that the Lord cares for the less privileged so much that He literally feels their pain. This means that every time you disregard a person in need you are ignoring God Himself. Matthew 25:45-46 says:
“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
From these verses we understand that neglecting the needy is a passageway to hell fire. When people come to you in hunger, do you give them food or turn deaf ears to their pleas? When someone is sick, do you visit to show love and pray with him or her or do you just go about your own business? When you see someone who needs new clothes, do you scorn or abuse the person for looking hagard instead of giving out some of the clothes in your wardrobe that you haven’t worn in a long while? If you are ignoring people’s needs around you, be careful because you just might be disregarding God Himself, and the result is eternity in hell.
Believe me honestly, if you make it a point of duty to always give to the poor, you will be blessed bountifully for it. It is popularly said that givers never lack. I believe this to be very true because Proverbs 19:17 says:
“He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”
No one who neglects the poor has a place in heaven. In Matthew 19:16-25, a rich young man went to see Jesus, and he told Him that he had kept all Jewish laws from his youth, but he still felt like he was lacking something. Jesus told him that if he wanted to be perfect, he should sell all that he had and give the proceeds to the poor. This was too hard for the rich man to do, so he went away in sorrow. Then Jesus turned to His disciples and told them it is hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. In other words, if you are rich and you find anything too big or too valuable to let go of for the sake of the poor, then there is no place for you in the kingdom of heaven. Many people judge this rich young man, but they would do exactly the same thing he did if they were in his shoes. If I may ask, do you care enough for the needy that you can sell all that you have to meet their needs? Difficult as this may sound, it is reflective of the kind of heart that has a place in heaven.
Begin to set aside a portion of your regular income to help the needy from today.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
2 Kings 5-6, Daniel 4:28-37
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE