Supporting and Serving the Needy
Engage with the following Bible passages:
2 Corinthians 8-9, 1 Timothy 6, Proverbs 11, Psalm 112, Luke 6.
Serving the needy is a common Christian virtue enacted by saints throughout the history of Christianity. But is it just an outward act and show of love to others, or does it go deeper than that?
Fr Tadros Malaty says, “Every giving, and every good virtue is a gift or grace from God. It is the grace of God that turns our life to become constructive and of benefit for the life of others.”
So the virtue of giving begins with our relationship with Christ, so that we can obtain His grace that transforms us, so that we can be a benefit to others. Christ Himself led the way, for “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9). If we do likewise as Christ did – humble ourselves before God and empty ourself before Him, then when we serve God’s children, and give wholeheartedly, we will indeed make others rich and our service will truly benefit them.
Our giving does not always necessarily need to be monetary, as long as it is honest and we do it with joy in our heart. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:7) We don’t give with the sole objective to reap God’s reward, we give because God has filled out hearts with love, and His grace compels us to serve.
Serve with our money. Serve with our time. Put away our pride, and serve those who have no one to serve them. God’s heart is moved when He sees us giving out of our poverty. His heart is moved if we are short of time, and we give our time to serve God’s children. If we are strapped for cash, yet we donate money to those in need of it. And in doing so “The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in draught, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail” (Isaiah 58:11)
The world familiarises us with phrases such as “I cannot afford it” – can we say to God that we cannot afford the time, the money or anything else? For anything that we have, we have because God has given it to us. It is important to remember the Proverb 11:24 “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.” God promises us, that in giving, we increase what we reap in return for “He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
Be assured, God never leaves us wanting or needing anything, when we give with our hearts. God truly does love a cheerful giver. Liberality in giving provides an abundance of inner joy; By giving from what he has, man opens up his heart to receive generous gifts from heaven.
Lets earnestly pray to obtain God’s grace, so that He can open our hearts to give abundantly to others. For certainly by serving His children and putting ourselves, our comfort and our needs last, we will move the heart of the Lord and build treasures for ourselves in heaven.