March 1, 2017

Romans 5:8 (NLT) — 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

What images come to mind when you hear the word ‘Poverty’? Perhaps a refugee camp where little children run around half naked with bloated stomachs because of the lack of food. And those that are too weak to walk around lay in their mothers arms with drool running down their chins and flies crawling on their faces. Or perhaps you think of children in America that wear the same dirty clothes everyday. They have acute body odor and their hair is sort of matted because of the lack of personal hygiene. The grass by their houses is mostly weeds, the house needs paint, the roof leaks and the care they drive has more rust then metal. They don’t have the money to do the necessary repairs or put healthy food on the table.

Poverty = the state of being extremely poor: Absolute poverty or destitution refers to the lack of means necessary to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter.

I just finished reading an article entitled: The Major Causes of Poverty in America. They listed these four as the major causes: Poor economy > in which people lose their jobs. Drug Use > addiction to drugs cost money to maintain the habit. Lack of education > they have to settle for poor paying jobs with little or no benefits. Medical Expenses > Unexpected illnesses and accidents drained all their money and left them in debt. Hospital stays, doctors and treatment are extremely expensive.

All of the above had to do with physical and material poverty. It is a terrible thing but there is a poverty that is much worse and our memory verse tells us what it is. It is poverty of the soul which happens when a person does not receive the love of God by receiving his son Jesus and the forgiveness of sins that Jesus offers. In fact Jesus said it this way:

Mark 8:36 (NLT) — 36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?

They may be many reasons why people live in physical and material poverty but there is no good reason why anyone should live in spiritual poverty. God in his great love made Jesus available to all people regardless of race, creed, intelligence, abilities and social status. People in real poverty are those who haven’t received the love of God.

Some how we need to see people who haven’t received Jesus with souls as horribly looking as the malnourished children with the bloated stomachs, drooling with flies on their faces. Perhaps we would be moved to ask the Holy Spirit to help us introduce them to Jesus and end their poverty.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mark Gundersen says:

    There sometimes seems that there is an inverse relationship between physical poverty and spiritual poverty. The greatest growth of the church is happening in areas of the world where the people tend to have the least. The concept of depending on God may be easier if you cannot have the false belief you can completely depend on yourself.

  2. That’s a strong analogy, Pastor Dan and we would do well to etch it in our minds.
    Also, I second that comment as a very good point, Dr. Mark!