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What If? I Could Make A Difference for the Poor

What If? I Could Make A Difference for the Poor

Jan 28, 2018

Preacher: John Welborn

Series: What If?

Detail:

January 21, 2018
Pastor John Welborn
What If?
I Could Make A Difference for the Poor
Proverbs 14:30-31
 
I. Making a Difference for the Poor starts with Contentment
“A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.” Proverbs 14:30
 
• Spiritually Wealthy
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:4-7
 
• Materially Wealthy
“If we have clean water, sufficient food and clothes, a roof over our heads at night, access to medicine, a mode of transportation (even if it’s public), and the ability to read a book, then relative to billions of people in the world, we are incredibly wealthy...when most people in the world hear the word ‘rich’, they picture us.”
David Platt
 
“At no time in history has there ever been greater economic disparity in the world than at present...by any measure, we (modern day Americans) are the richest people ever to walk on planet earth.”
Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert
 
“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.”
Ecclesiastes 5:10
 
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, & your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:31-33
 
II. Making a Difference for the Poor Honors God
“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.”
Proverbs 14:31
 
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
1 John 3:17
 
“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” James 2:14-17
 
What Can I DO to Make a Difference for the Poor?
• Work Diligently
“Imagine that everyone quits working, right now! What happens? Civilized life quickly melts away. Food vanishes from the store shelves, gas pumps dry up, streets are no longer patrolled, and fires burn themselves out. Communication & transportation services end and utilities go dead. Those who survive at all are soon huddled around campfires, sleeping in caves, and clothed in rags. The difference between a wilderness & culture is simply, work.”
Tim Keller
 
• Live Simply
“..only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 19:23
 
• Give Sacrificially
o Meet Needs at Home: Believer’s Family (1 Timothy 5:8)
o Meet Needs Around Us: We will care for those living around
us, working with us & worshipping with us! (Luke 10:25-37)
o Meet Needs Far Away From Us
 
“At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. For they were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them...”
Romans 15:25-27a
 
• Help Constructively
“The worst thing we can do for the needy is neglect them. The second worst thing we can do is subsidize them, helping people get through a day while ignoring how we can help people get through their lives.”
David Platt
 
• Invest Eternally
“Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Mark 10:29-30
 
A difference can be made by being:
• Personally Involved
• Corporately Invested
 
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
2 Corinthians 8:9
 
What if I was different?
What if Salem was different?
What if we could do more than the bare minimum because the people who call Salem Church home did more than the bare minimum? What kind of difference could be made for the poor? And the unreached? And the vulnerable?
 
Sources and Further Reading Opportunities:
• Bible Exposition Commentary – Warren Wiersbe (1996)• Strong’s Concordance – James Strong (1890)• Tony Evans Book of Illustrations – Tony Evans (2009)• Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes – Charles Swindoll (1998) • Counter Culture – David Platt (2015)
• How to Be Rich – Andy Stanley (2013)• New American Commentary: Proverbs – Duane A. Garrett (1993)• How Census Measures Poverty – U.S. Census Bureau Website• Understanding Poverty in the United States – Sheffield & Rector (2011) • Absolute & Overall Poverty – Joanna Mack (2016)• Every Good Endeavor – Timothy Keller (2012)