One of the most difficult issues for the Church today is how to meet needs of the poor. However, Scripture makes it clear that an important exercise of our faith is to care for those less fortunate than we are. We find references to caring for the poor in James 1:27; 2:14- 16, Matthew 6:4 and many other places.
One of the more interesting passages is Mark 10, where we find the story of a man known as the “rich, young ruler” who inquires about the way to eternal life. Christ immediately places a daunting hurdle in front of him: “go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Mark 10:21) If we keep reading, we find that the rich, young ruler was so saddened by that news that he chose not to follow Christ. It is clear that the riches that this man possessed were more important to him than eternal life!
Scripture mentions the poor and the subject of money all through its pages. Here are five principles that the Church needs to understand if it is to carry out this aspect of missions:
1. The Rich Are to Have Open Wallets
As it says in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”
What better way to demonstrate the One you serve than to give away your money and earthly possessions? If you have more than you need, why do you hold back from helping those who are less fortunate than you?
This passage in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 is even more clear: “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches…instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future…”
Those whom God has blessed with monetary blessings in this life have been entrusted with a responsibility to use those resources on behalf of others.
2. The Poor Outside the Church Are a Lower Priority
While the believer is called to be a good citizen and help neighbors in need, the goal of the Church is not to eradicate poverty at large. Poverty is a societal ill that we will always have with us as Jesus said in Matthew 26:11. Instead, the command is to be obedient to meet the needs of brothers and sisters in Christ. In James 2, the person who needs clothing is a “brother or sister” and in Galatians 6:10, we read that we are to “do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”
The Church is not to see itself as the solution to world poverty and the Church is not to use the issue of poverty as a marketing ploy in order to increase its political status. Rather, the Church is tasked with the responsibility to help poor believers within the Church.
3. There Are People Who Should Not Be Helped
There are three types of poor individuals who should not be helped by the Church. The first is a lazy person, “if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.” (2 Thess. 3:10)
The second person is a young widow – a widow who still has the ability to work or to marry. When the Church gives aid to such a widow, it may encourage her to fall into sin. (1 Timothy 5:9-16)
The third type of person who should not be helped financially by the Church is a man who allows his family to suffer neglect because of his laziness. In fact, this type of man is considered to be a pagan! 1 Timothy 5:8 says, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
4. The Poor Who Are in the Church Are Rich
When the rich are generous to the household of faith or the Church, they make it possible for both themselves to be rich in eternal life and for the poor to be rich in this life. In Mark 10:29-30 we read: “There is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” When the poor in the Church are working hard and the rich are being generous, the entire body of believers is blessed.
5. The Redemption of the Soul Is the Goal
Meeting the physical needs of others is one of the best ways to live out one’s faith, but it is important to emphasize that eternal life must be kept as the most important object. When helping another person with clothes or food or money, do not neglect the Gospel and that person’s soul.
God has promised that if we submit and obey Him in this life – and that includes our finances – He will amply meet our needs (Philippians 4:19). Yet, if we worry over our wealth and seek to hang on to it at the expense of others, we run the risk of losing our souls. Mark 8:36-37: “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
The issue of money and meeting the needs of the poor in the Church is treated extensively in the Bible and we have not even scratched the surface of what could be said about this topic. The most important thing for you to examine is whether or not your church is meeting the needs of those within the membership? Furthermore, are you personally doing all you can in order to carry out God’s command to care for the needy?
Knowing how to pray to God is one of his many great gifts to us. Through prayer, we can ask God to provide us with anything we may desire. We can use prayer to ensure that all our essential needs will be met and that we can spend our time in this life in happiness and fulfillment. Receiving these miracles through prayer requires an understanding of the principles we have discussed.
The most essential basis for prayer and the rewards that God grants us is seated in His teachings. We must remember that our time on earth is merely preparation for a higher purpose. The struggles and hardships we face are meant as training exercises. They teach us lessons to help us grow spiritually, and they test our achievements. Like successful students, we are rewarded for our spiritual development and we we are guided to new challenges to strengthen our souls. The faster we learn the principles behind successful prayer, the sooner we can begin to enjoy the bounty of God’s grace.
If you are like most people who are just beginning to realize the full potential of prayer, my advice is to start gradually. Begin with a simple request and put yourself into it wholeheartedly. Find ways to galvanize your faith both before, during, and after your campaign of prayer. Be persistent, even in the most basic of requests. To pray for a single molecule of oxygen demands just as much a miracle as a prayer for vast riches. In God’s eyes, neither of those requests is more difficult to fulfill than the other. We just need to show Him that we are following in His path and are deserving of His blessings.
Be persistent in your requests. It is not that God does not hear you, it is that He needs to see how steadfast you are in your need and reliance on Him. Find ways to extend your generosity to others. We are never alone in this world, and the Bible repeatedly tells us to share our good fortune with others. Seek out agreement. This is a concept that often goes hand in hand with the other principles of prayer. We need the power of many voices standing beside us. It is through this solidarity that our resolve shines brightest. Be ever vigilant in your commitment to the Lord, to all that is good and holy, and remain focused on the path before you. As you begin to master the fundamentals of prayer, a whole new world of miracles will be unlocked for you. Glory be to God!
Have you thought about the return of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ? As Christians, this is a topic of debate, and one that no minister, pastor, or bishop has been able to completely agree on. The second coming of Jesus Christ was foretold in the Bible, but the exact date and circumstances of His return were almost purposefully vague.
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come.”Mark 13:32-33
If only God knows when Jesus is returning to Earth, can we ask Him in our prayers? This is the theory that many currently believe. Pastors from around the world have communicated to God through their prayers and asked for information regarding the second coming of Christ. When God’s son returns to Earth, he will heal us from our sufferings, relieve us of our discomfort, and bring us to Heaven with Him. In modern times, with a struggling economy, global warming, multiple wars, and political unrest, it seems that now is as likely a time as ever for us to be expecting Jesus Christ’s glorious return.
In my research on this topic, I was able to find a site that appropriately discusses this question in a very unbiased manner. If you are looking to increase your research into this topic, I highly suggest you do some reading at Armageddon Online. Although the name may sound cryptic, this site discusses opinions of Christians and atheists alike in terms of their beliefs and their theories. It’s quite helpful and allows you to shape your own views on the second coming o Jesus Christ, along with the disasters that may or may not follow.
To form your own opinions, here at the Christian Prayer Center, we also suggest that you read up on your Bible verses and stories. The Bible Study Web Site – If you have questions, the Bible has answers! Remember that folks, it’s all been written before.
We’re all victims of the same obstacle from time to time. This obstacle blocks our happiness, and it puts us in a sour mood. What I’m talking about is our attitude towards life. When God gives us lemonade, we truly must choose to make lemonade. If we do anything else, we’re wasting the opportunity He has given us to enjoy our lives on this fine planet Earth.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go. Follow me.” John 21: 18-19
When we’re old and decrepit, we still must continue to live our lives. When we have a bad day, we still must live our lives. When we say our prayers to the good Lord above, we can ask Him for what we need, but we must also show gratefulness for what He has already given us – even if that is a toothache, a pink slip at work, or something far more grave. We’re here to experience His world, and he must trust that he has a plan for us.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to meet a man who has created an entire website around this concept. The most incredible part is that he’s had his site for over 12 years now! If you ever need a lesson in how to live life to the fullest, spend some time on his site.
Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Although Einstein was a man of science, he was also a man of faith. He often spoke of the intricacies of God’s miraculous creations and marveled in the magnificence of the universe. His scientific brilliance allowed him to explore the beauty of the world from a perspective inaccessible to many of us, but those miraculous gifts he described are available to all of us. All that differs is the terminology. Einstein called it science. We call it God’s work.
From the moment the Lord instills life in our souls, He has already begun to shower us with His gifts. He provides the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food to nourish our bodies. Many of us have learned to take these basic needs for granted. We don’t often think of the air we breathe as a miracle from God. But how can we regard anything as a miracle if not the very substances that sustain life? Once you begin to recognize that God grants miracles to us all, every day, you will begin to understand the workings of our Lord Almighty; there is no difference between the miracle in a glass of water and a miracle of much larger proportions.
There is not a single one of us who does not need God with us at all times. However, many of us treat God as a backseat passenger or as someone we call on when all other options have been exhausted. God wants to be an active participant in every aspect of our lives. He wants to help us succeed in life, He wants us to find happiness, and He wants us to spread happiness to others. We need His help to find these things. So how do we let God know that we need His help, we want His help, and we’re grateful for His help?
The answer is prayer. Prayer is how we communicate with God. Prayer is one of His many gifts to the faithful. Through prayer, we can ask for God’s assistance in all aspects of our lives. There is no request too small or too large or in any way unworthy of the Lord’s attention. Whatever our need, God is by our side, watching and listening. It is important to understand, however, that this does not mean He will snap into action and grant your requests as soon as your prayer is heard. God has big plans for each of us. His goal is to teach us and guide us and prepare us for much more important things to come. So while we can always talk to God as our friend, different principles apply when we really want Him to cast His blessings upon us in miraculous ways. Understanding these principles is your key to the happiness He is waiting to bestow.
Maintaining a Christian marriage in the 21st century is not an easy task. Divorce rates are at an all time high. Out of every 10 couples you know, 5 of them will be divorced. That is a dangerously high rate, and as a consequence, many children are left with only one parent. Divorces cause lifetime grief for the husband, wife, and children of any split. A happy Christian marriage requires patience, understanding, and a true desire to maintain this divine partnership.
If you are traversing hard times with your spouse, there are plenty of good resources out there for your to learn from. I have been lucky enough to come into contact with one such site, and I recommend you check them out for christian marriage tips.
God’s beauty abounds in many forms. Not only has he provided us with food to eat, and shelter to warm ourselves, but he has also sent us many forms of enjoyment and delight. In nature, he has provided impressive landscapes, trees, flowers, and a plethora of diverse animals. In his oceans, he has provided us with fish, dolphins, whales, and other marvelous sites.
In the arts, he has installed a sense of creativity in our humans. He has given us the ability to paint marvelous pictures, craft elaborate sculptures, and design brilliant buildings. In literature, he has given us the holy Bible, and poetry. To enjoy a wide library of short poems about life, love, friendship, God, and Jesus Christ check out a great site at Stressless Country. Enjoy all the pieces that have been posted and delight in just one more of God’s talents that he has bestowed us with on Earth.
The Bible has many lessons. It’s a long book with advice and stories spanning from Moses to Jesus Christ, to how to manage household affairs, to when and how to pray. As Christians, we take from the Holy Bible what we choose, and we concentrate on the verses and stories that are preached to us by our local Pastors and church. During conversation, and at certain points in our life, it is of great use to be able to recite and remember some of the most impactful of these Bible verses. To our chagrin, it is at these times that we have the most trouble remembering them, though.
”But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”Matthew 6:33-34
I have had the opportunity to come in contact with a man who has done the great service of putting together several Christian sites, which emphasize the most important piece of literature we have, the Holy BIble. Just like we have word of the day dictionary websites to help expand our vocabulary, Ron runs a great bible verse of the day site that I recommend you all check out and register for. If you have a few minutes extra each day, you can review a different bible verse and expand your biblical knowledge and understanding.
Without one very important book, it is unlikely that Christianity would have survived in its current form for so many years. Its blessed teachings would have been lost or misconstrued, and the gospel of our Lord never would have been as far reaching. Clearly, I am speaking of the Bible. Over the centuries, the Bible has been translated into many different languages, and updated for modern understanding.
We give credit to writers of past and present for their contribution to the understanding of Christ, and in their service of transferring these teachings to us. I have been lucky enough to come across one such Christian community that rewards the advancement of literacy, and Christian writing. If you get a chance, and you are inclined to publish your writings, I encourage you all to check out the Faith Writers website. Please join their community and hone your literary talents. God Bless.
The wonderful thing about the Bible is that it is appropriate for all ages. Lessons can be learned, and wisdom extracted for children, adults, and seniors alike. From stories of Job, to the trials of Moses and Jesus Christ himself, we can all study human stories of faith and triumph from our Holy Book.
If you are looking for a place to find resources for teaching your kid about the Bible and its teachings, I recommend you check out a great place for finding bible lessons for children.
Read about the lessons from the books of Peter, Paul, Job and more.