God’s Heart For the Poor – A Bible Study

God’s Heart for the Poor – Bible Study

Scripture is full of references to God’s concern for those who are impoverished, vulnerable and oppressed.

This short Bible study will help you unlock God’s perspective on poverty. As you consider the Scriptures, may you discover God’s mandate to “do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

INTRO:

Whenever we want to understand an issue, it is important to consider what God’s Word says first. In this study we will discover the Bible’s perspective on poverty. Scripture mentions poverty and injustice more than any other issue. Yet, how many of us have spent time really considering the plight of the poor through God’s eyes? May God open our eyes as we study His Word.

GOD’S HEART FOR THE POOR:

As you read these verses, look for words or phrases that speak about God’s heart and actions towards the poor. Pause after each passage and think about it.

Psalm 10:14-18; Psalm 72:12-14; Psalm 146; Luke 4:16-21.

Did you hear any descriptions that you would use to describe ways God has helped you in different seasons of your life?

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” (Mother Teresa) Do you agree with this statement? Why?

God uniquely identifies Himself with the poor and intimately ties our worship of Him to caring for the poor.

Read Proverbs 14:31; Mathew 25:31-46

When someone oppresses the poor, whom is he hurting?

Read Proverbs 19:17

What kinds of repayment do you think God gives to those who help the poor?

Read Jeremiah 22:13-17

According to the following passage, what does it mean to know God?

Not many of us build palaces and upper rooms today, but the above passage from Jeremiah may still apply to us. Can you think of any modern-day actions of Christians that would cause God to say, “Woe to him?”

What does the following passage teach us about the relationship between caring for the poor and worship? Isaiah 1:10-17

 

Imitating God’s compassion for the poor is an essential, mandatory part of our Christian lives.

God commands us to care for the poor, offering blessings for obedience and consequences for disobedience.

Read James 1:27, 2:14-17; Deuteronomy 15:7-11; Proverbs 31:8-9

According to these passages, what are the specific commands God gives us regarding the poor?

Read Proverbs 21:13, 22:9, 28:27; Isaiah 58:1-11.

How does God bless those who help the poor?

What are the consequences of not helping the poor?

Conclusion and Application

How should Christians be living in relation to the poor?

If you had to summarize God’s heart for the poor in one sentence, what would you say?

Do you feel God calling you to make any changes in your life today?

Pray for a heart that is sensitive to the needs of the poor and what you can do about those needs.

Ways in which you can help the poor can be almost as varied as there are people to be helped. It could be as simple as treating someone to a cup of coffee or a glass of cold water, or providing shelter or long-term assistance. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this and to give you his heart for the poor. Your compassion will grow as you seek God and His heart.

Some ideas on how to serve the poor… show love to widows and orphans; provide free medical care; help at your local soup kitchen for the homeless; make a blanket or quilt to be donated to services that will give them away; provide shelter or clothing; donate money to trustworthy Christian organizations like Compassion International, YWAM or World Vision (or any number of literally hundreds of other such excellent organizations); care for, love on and visit those in prison; baby-sit for a single mom you know; get to know refugees in your community; take time to listen to those in need and those who are lonely; love on the sick and lonely by visiting those at your local nursing home or hospital.

God’s Heart for the Poor Scripture Passages:

God’s heart for the poor.

Psalm 10:14-18          Psalm 72:12-14           Psalm 146         Luke 4:16-21

God uniquely identifies Himself with the poor and intimately ties our worship of Him with caring for the poor.

Proverbs 14:31         Matthew 25:31-46           Proverbs 19:17

Jeremiah 22:13-17    Isaiah 1:10-17

Imitating God’s compassion for the poor is an essential, mandatory part of our Christian lives.

James 1:27            James 2:14-17       Deuteronomy 15:7-11        Proverbs 31:8-9

Proverbs 21:13      Proverbs 22:9       Proverbs 28:27                    Isaiah 58:1-11

To learn more about God’s heart for the poor and needy, I recommend a few books:

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream By David Platt

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Sterns (founder of World Vision)

When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett

Forgotten God : Reversing our tragic neglect of the Holy Spirit by Francis Chan

The Holy Bible

May the Lord bless, encourage and sustain you as you seek His will in loving the “least of these”.

In His Grip,

Kameron