If I was starting a worldwide religion, I’d be focusing my attention on the people of influence, the movers and shakers, the rich the powerful!!! but Jesus doesn’t seem to do that. In the Gospels again and again he seems to have a special compassion for people who are struggling with life, messed up, people that haven’t got it all together.
Even Jesus’s opening manifesto, given at the start of his public ministry in Luke 4
‘"The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor” seems to be focusing on people who are struggling in life and the poor.
In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus talks about the sheep and the goats. Jesus would seem to be suggesting that if there is no compassion for the poor in the outworking of our walk with him the authenticity of our salvation is in question!!! (Chilling Stuff!!)
Therefore, I’m pretty convinced in our church life we need to have a special heart for the poor as that what Jesus had.
Over the last century often churches seem to have split preaching the Gospel with working with the poor but Jesus doesn’t seem to make that distinction. However, on the other side we mustn’t do ministry to the poor just to make things a little bit better. We need ministry to the poor to make things new in Christ!!!
In the last few years God has really challenged me about compassion for the poor as often God has presented me with them and we also happen to live in one of the most poverty-stricken towns in the UK, not just financially but in lots of different ways.
One of my Hero’s is Williams Booth who founded the Salvation Army this is a bit of his story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEpAAp2PSlo .
The world is not so different today (Particularly in Blackburn) than it was in Victorian England and through the power of the Holy Spirit William Booth changed the world. Oh how we need people like William Booth today!!!
Please pray for greater compassion and a heart for the Poor within our church
(That is likely not to be easy or straight forward) It also doesn’t make for nice, clean, straightforward middle class church!!!
Please pray that God gives more vision and resource for work for the poor.
Has God given you a prophetic word or vision for the poor like William Booth?
Has God put a ministry or an idea on your heart?
If you’d like to find out more what the churches are doing in the UK a great place to start is Jubilee plus website https://jubilee-plus.org/
Please also pray for all the amazing Christian work with the poor that gets done in Blackburn. Foodbank, Salvation Army, Children’s Store House, Christians Against Poverty, The ARC project and the list goes on. Its a really really tough Job and often they need encouraging. If you know someone who works with the poor why don't you contact them to encourage them?
Jesus really, really, really loved the poor and so why wouldn’t we?
Helpful Bible Verses
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.
Looking at his disciples, [Jesus] said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.”
1 John 3:17
Then Jesus said to his host . . . When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.