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Honoring the Poor - Broadcast for January 24, 2013
In the early days of my ministry I was taken aside and roundly rebuked for spending too much time with the people who could do nothing for me or for the ministry. I was instructed to cultivate solid relationships with wealthy people interested in my ministry and then I would have money to help the poor and further the ministry.
Years later, I am still poor, have no wealthy benefactors in our ministry, and must seek the Lord for even our daily bread. But many poor people have come to Jesus which I consider to be wonderful fruit from the work of grace we do. In James 2:5 we read: Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5 NKJV)
The temptation is always with us to give attention to wealth but in doing so we lose those most ready to receive the gospel. The poor understand their need and easily can relate to spiritual poverty. The poor more easily believe and more successfully live by faith. They more quickly turn to the Lord for their needs. Rich in faith has eternal value and is more worthy our time and attention.
It may seem that we will gain more by investing our time and attention into the wealthy and influential. But look at who Jesus chose to disciple and evangelize; it was the poor and outcast, the sick and dying, the lost and listless. He had little time for privilege or wealth, but touched the lepers, fed the hungry, raised the dead, healed the blind. There is not much money in this kind of ministry but there is great reward.