This has been transcribed from the Ready Set Go Podcast.
"Serving Human Need"
Intro: Welcome to the Ready Set Go Podcast. I’m your host Pshells, along with my Diva Divine and my 4 Shells we say What’s up!? We are excited you are with us for another edition of the Ready Set Go Podcast. We can’t say enough how thankful we are that you turned on this program to hear about the God that created the family and wants to see your family reach its full potential. How can that happen. Well, I’m glad you asked. Number one I believe is through a relationship with the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. His Word reveals just how good He is and how He wants us to grow, love, prosper, and give in this life. The tag line for this network/ministry is “If you’re putting God first, you’re putting your family first.” So, my encouragement and challenge to you as parents, children, aunts, uncles, to put God first in your family, and see all that He can do, which is endless.
If you would like to contact us here at the EEA Network and the Ready Set Go Podcast, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, comment, or encouragement for us.
Today we are going to dive into something we all have a desire for, some of us just don’t know it yet. And that desire is Serving Human Need. God created each of us in His image, and since we are created in His image I believe we all have His heart for the poor and oppressed. It’s just that some of us have given into the temptations of this world of hate. But know God has put in you a desire to help the poor and oppressed.
I think it’s amazing that Jesus started His earthly ministry reading Isaiah 61. In Luke 4:17-19 He stood up in the synagogue and was handed the scroll of Isaiah the prophet. The Bible says He unrolled it and found where it is written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” He selected this to launch His public ministry and to announce that He was the Messiah. Jesus’s defined ministry becomes the ongoing essence of the Good News. We must remember that while all people benefit from this ministry, the Good News was and is the Good News to the poor. If we as believers want to accurately represent Jesus and honor God’s Word, we must focus on serving and empowering the poor.
Caring for the poor was mandated by God in Leviticus. We can read in Leviticus 19: 9, 10 that God is giving the Isrealites instruction on holiness in personal conduct, and part of that was not going back to pick up the grain or grapes that had fallen to the ground during the harvesting. He tells them why at the end of verse 10. He says, “leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.” How can you tell God means what He says? He punctuated it at the end with “I am the Lord your God”. This statement by God instructing His people to care Practically for the disadvantaged should provide uplifting insight into His heart. So, this is a Mandate from God.
The Bible also instructs us to defend the rights of the needy. In Proverbs 31:8,9 it says, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” And here is where I might offend people when I say the work of God’s people on behalf of the poor must be more than a periodic prayer or a check written to a relief agency. God commands us to do as He does by actively defending the rights of the needy, advocating for them, and coming to their aid when we see them oppressed, discriminated against, or mistreated. We must speak up for the marginalized if, because they are poor, they are treated unfairly in the line at the grocery store or somewhere in public. We are God’s ambassadors, and we need to act on His behalf to defend those who are violated.
God has created you for a purpose, and one of those purposes is to care for the poor. But did you also know that caring for the poor is an investment with God? In Proverbs 19:17 God associates Himself with the poor by taking their plight personally. It says, “If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord, and He will repay you.” He promises to repay those who care about the marginalized and show kindness to the poor (Psalms 41:1-3). Sheltering the homeless, befriending a scared stranger, visiting someone in prison, or feeding hungry children is a very wise investment, don’t you think.? The Lord Himself will repay you, but not necessarily with wealth and comfort. But with the honor of reflecting His character by the sacrifice we make on behalf of the poor.
I challenge you to go to Isaiah 58:5-7 and read how God tells His children what really pleases Him. It wasn’t them going through the ceremony of fasting, but if you read verses 6 and 7 he tells them to “Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people. Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.” I like that last part. God is telling us that the ceremony of fasting becomes offensive to Him when we ignore the people closest to His Heart. You can even read an example of this in Luke 11: 38-41 as Jesus dined with some Pharisee’s. It’s amazing how some things that you read in the gospels parallel to today in the fact we have leaders and religious leaders who are acting as the Pharisee’s did. I challenge you to go back and read that in Luke 11.
I’m going to leave you with this. James 1:27 says, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” Those things closest to the Father’s heart, the things that He views as precious, revolve around caring for the needy and personal holiness. God’s majesty and power are best understood in light of His tender compassion toward orphans and widows. When His children care for the distressed, their actions are pure and faultless in God’s view because they reflect His heart. We can, and should, evangelize, fast, study, and pray, but our looking out for and defending the helpless brings pleasure to God without condition.
Pray against temptation of this world, and for each family to receive God’s heart for the poor. Pray the Holy Spirit empowers family’s with power to do what God has asked us to do.
1. Pray for your family; against the temptation of not helping the poor and pray that you begin to find way to help those in need.
2. Be creative in your serving.
3. Make every situation a teaching moment with your children.
Thanks for Listening. This is a listener supported program so if you would like to give, connect with us at www.philipshelley.org/donate
We love each of you. Be a blessing to others so others can be a blessing.
This has been a PShells, Diva Divine, 4Shells connection, and we say it’s time for dinner, so come and get it!
You can listen to the Podcast in ITunes, Stitcher, or Google Play or go to the Podcast page on this website and scroll to "Serving Human Need".
Copyright 2023 © Philip Shelley. All rights reserved.