Mercy and God’s word

Psalm 41.1-3

Poverty just loves to destroy lives. It breaks families apart, isolates people from friends and family, shatters confidence and drives many to think that suicide is the only way out.
UK poverty is real, with millions locked in its miserable grip. We’re not prepared to sit back and let it wreak havoc across our nation. In a just and compassionate society, no one should be trapped in their home, afraid to open the door or answer the phone. No one should wake up wondering where they’ll find the money to feed their children or heat their home. No one should have to be alone, especially when times are tough. (Christians Against Poverty website)

BMS works among some of the most marginalised and least evangelised people, in some of the most fragile places on earth. We aim to bring life in all its fullness through seven key ministries: church, development, education, health, justice, leadership and relief. (BMS website)Locally or world-wide poverty is an ever present reality. We are now living in the largest collapse of the global economy since the second world war. Those who suffer the most are the ones who are already the poorest. The BMS mission statement gives a clear modern understanding of poverty that it is far more multifaceted than simply lack of money. Poverty is a major issue wherever we live but is it the churches’ issue? How much prayer, time, energy, money, effort and sacrifice of the church should it consume? How big a priority should it be for the church? How reasonable are the arguments that reflect these types of thoughts?

Preaching the word of God has to be our main focus, we cannot afford to do both.
We are struggling ourselves to meet our costs and cannot afford to do things.
We are only a few, we have to be careful about what we do.

There is a welfare state now it is no longer as important as it used to be.
Mostly it is the fault of the poor that they are in the situation that they are.
In some way their presence corrupts the house of God.How can these apparent conflicts be resolved? A disciple of Jesus would answer, by obedience to the bible, Jesus’ example and his teaching. We then find there is no conflict, the gospel is communicated through care for the poor, even becoming poor oneself as Jesus has already laid down his life for us. Biblical evidence is overwhelming and coherent. The gospel is not simply the message, it is a gospel life. As David says, ‘Blessed is the one who considers the poor.’ v1 The promise of God is that consideration or care for the poor, (ESV) or alternatively as the NIV translates it, the weak, is followed by blessing to the carer. He promises protection and sustenance. vv2,3 As an alternative to a song I would ask you to listen to what the bible says about poverty through children’s voices on the ‘Compassion International’ website.
You may not wish to respond to Compassion specifically, but it is worth asking what should I and my church do?

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