Know - People

WALK – Holiness, poverty, and relationship-reform

walk-holiness-poverty-and-relationship-reform
Caring for the Poor, Biblical Mandate: Summery of “When helping hurts” How to alleviate poverty without hurting the poor and yourself. 
Steve Corbett
What was the focus of Jesus’ Ministry?
Luke 4:17–21 

And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,

Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

When Jesus’ Ministry was tested and questioned by John the baptist:
Luke 7:22–23 

Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

Jesus Focussed on the poor: and wants us to focus on the poor:
Matthew 25:44–46 

“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

This is the fulfillment of the OT plan God had for Isreal:
Isaiah 1:17 

Learn to do good;

Seek justice,

Rebuke the oppressor;

Defend the fatherless,

Plead for the widow.

Deuteronomy 15:4 

except when there may be no poor among you; for the LORD will greatly bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance—

God gave Moses numerous commands in-  structing Israel to care for the poor. The Sabbath  guaranteed a day of rest for the slave and alien (Ex.  23:10–12). The Sabbath year canceled debts for Is-  raelites, allowed the poor to glean from the fields,  and set slaves free as well as equipping the slaves to  be productive (Deut. 15:1–18). The Jubilee year  emphasized liberty; it released slaves and returned  land to its original owners (Lev. 25:8–55). Other laws  about debt, tithing, and gleaning ensured that the  poor would be cared for each day of the year (Lev.  25:35–38; Deut. 14:28–29; Lev. 19:9–10). The com-  mands were so extensive that they were designed to  achieve the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty  among God’s people: “There should be no poor  among you,” God declared (Deut. 15:4). 
God judges our worship as fruitless and futile if we neglect the poor:
Personal piety and formal worship are essential to  the Christian life, but they must lead to lives that  “act justly and love mercy” (Mic. 6:8). 
Throughout the New  Testament, care of the poor is a vital concern of the  church (Matt. 25:31–46; Acts 6:1–7; Gal. 2:1–10; 6:10James 1:27). Perhaps no passage states it more suc-  cinctly than 1 John 3:16–18
God’s answer to the poverty question of mankind is His kingdom:
The kingdom is the renewal of the whole world through the entrance of supernatural forces. As things are brought back under Christ’s rule and authority, they are restored to health, beauty, and free- dom.
Jesus Ministry started preaching the Kingdom: Mat 4:17 instructing His disciples to do the same: Luke 9:2; Luke 10:9 and the first church did the same: Acts 4:34; 10:45
The way God shows His Kingdom to the World is by using the poor, the weak en simple to display His glory:
James 2:5 

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?

1 Corinthians 1:26–29 

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.

Poor people typically talk in terms of shame, inferiority, powerlessness, humiliation, fear, hopelessness, depression, social isolation, and voicelessness.
God established four foundational relationships for each person: a relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation (see figure 2.1).¹⁴ These relationships are  the building blocks for all of life. When they are  functioning properly, humans experience the full-  ness of life that God intended, because we are being  what God created us to be
Poverty is the result of relationships that do not work, that are not just, that are not for life, that are not harmonious or enjoyable. Poverty is the absence of shalom in all its meanings
Every human being is suffering from a poverty of spiritual intimacy, a poverty of being, a poverty of community, and a poverty of stewardship.
The materially poor are trapped by multiple, interconnected factors—insufficient assets, vulnerability, powerlessness, isolation, and physical weakness— that ensnare them like bugs caught in a spider’s web.¹⁷ Imagine being caught in such a web.
According to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, it is this lack of freedom to be able to make meaningful choices—to have an ability to affect one’s situation—that is the distinguishing feature of poverty
Poverty alleviation is the ministry of reconciliation: moving people closer to glorifying God by living in right relationship with God, with self, with others, and with the rest of creation. Material poverty alleviation is working to reconcile the four foundational relationships so that people can fulfill their callings of glorifying God by working and supporting themselves and their families with the fruit of that work.
We are building people, leaders, community, an economic base, and capacity, not a product for profit.
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Jan Oosthuizen

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