Why We Serve

As Christians we should be concerned about the poor because Jesus has a heart for the poor. He has commissioned believers to preach, heal, and deliver the oppressed. Furthermore, Jesus identified with the poor and stated that what we do for the poor we are directly doing for Him. God very clearly states in His Word what we are called to do as believers and followers of Him. Below are some key points and Scriptural examples supporting how and why Christians are obligated to care for the poor.

We are called to follow God’s example

  • 1 Peter 2:21 – To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
  • John 13:14-15 – Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
  • Luke 9:23 – Then he said to them all:“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
  • Ephesians 5:1-2 – Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

We are called to love one another:

  • Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
  • 1 John 3:16-19 – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence.
  • John 13:34-35 – “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

We are called to share the Gospel to the whole Earth:

  • 1 Kings 8:59-60 – And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.
  • Matthew 24:14 – And this gospel of the kingdomwill be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
  • Mark 16:15 – He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
  • Mark 13:10 – “And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.”
  • Acts 13:47 – For this is what the Lord has commanded us: “I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”

We are called to serve the least of these:

  • Zechariah 7:10 – Do not oppress the widowor the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.
  • James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look afterorphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
  • Luke 7:22 – “So he replied to the messengers, ‘Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.’”
  • Isaiah 41:17 – “The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; tongues are parched with thirst. But I the LORD will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.”

We are called to build up the body of Christ:

  • Matthew 29: 19-20 – Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
  • Ephesians 4:11-17 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers,to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
  • Romans 15:1-6 – We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are blessed through serving the poor:

  • Deuteronomy 15:10 – “Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”
  • Proverbs 22:9 – “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.”
  • Isaiah 58:10 – “And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
  • Luke 14:12-14 – “Then Jesus said to his host, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’”