In Amos 2, one of the things that God calls the people out for was not caring for those in need. As followers of Christ, caring for the poor and needy is stressed throughout Scripture. God calls believers to demonstrate compassion and generosity towards others.
In Isaiah 58, God makes it clear that feeding the hungry, sheltering and clothing those in need is important. Jesus echoes this in Matthew 25 when he tells us that serving “the least of these” is equivalent to serving Christ himself. Then, in James 1:27 it goes on to say, “Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
The Bible not only instructs us to care for those in need, but also provides practical examples of how to do it. In Acts 2 and 4, the early church gave sacrificially so that no one was in need. Paul collected offerings from churches to bring relief to poorer Christians in Jerusalem. Jesus himself welcomed and ate with the outcasts of society, modeling compassion in action.
As Christians, we can follow these great examples and care for the poor and those in need in many ways. For instance, we can:
- Giving generously to Churches and ministry organizations that provide food, shelter, medical services and education
- Volunteering at shelters, after-school programs, clinics, or other places serving low-income communities
- Donating clothing, toiletries, school supplies and other needed items
- Mentoring a child or teen from a disadvantaged background
- Visiting those in prison and shut-ins
Caring for those in need should be a natural outflow of the love that Christ has shown each of us. As we walk in humility and generosity by serving others, we demonstrate Christ’s love in action.
As we continue to learn more about the prophets of the Old Testament, we want to encourage you to be part of the group reading through it. You can by simply texting the word “Prophet” to 703-454-5990. In addition to this, to be part of other Bible Study encouragement groups where you can pick out other Bible Studies to do throughout the year, go to this page.