The Church to the Crippled

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4 Ways to Build the Church for the Poor

In this month’s series, His Church, we are learning how to be the church, not simply do church. We are called to more than gathering in His name. He wants us to love and serve in His name too. This week we look at being a church for the poor.

Who are the Poor?

In a physical sense, we have a general understanding of what it means to be poor. Materially, it means lacking adequate provision for one’s self and dependents. Furthermore, it means lacking the ability to gain those provisions or change one’s situation. Without question, we as a Church and as the Body of Christ are called to loving serve, support, and strengthen those around us that lack the ability to take care of themselves and their families. Furthermore, we are called to love and provide for the spiritually poor.
To be spiritually poor means that the individual lacks spiritual provision as well as the faith to believe beyond human ability. We all start off in this space of spiritual poverty. Yet all of us are equally invited to the Master’s Table to receive the rich bounty that He blesses us with uniquely and lavishly. So, how do we help build the church up in serving the physically and spiritually poor?

1. Embrace Responsibility

”A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (1 Corinthians 12:7, NLT).

We have each been given a gift by GOD that can be used to draw those that are spiritually or physically poor to the open arms of Christ. To use this gift for our own gain would be a waste when it could serve the eternal purpose of furthering the kingdom of God.

2. Discover GOD’s Gift

”GOD has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” (1 Peter 4:10, NLT)

Once we understand that we have a responsibility towards the physically and spiritually poor around us in our community, we must discover the gift GOD has given us in reaching and loving them until they know Jesus and his irrefutable offer of grace and provision and strength.

3. Go to where they are

We cannot expect those who cannot provide for themselves physically or spiritually to come to us. Just as the wealthy master commanded his servants to go find the poor, crippled, blind, and lame beyond his gates and invite them to the table, so we are sent out by Jesus our Master to find those who cannot make it to His table on their own. And before we become prideful of our seat at the table, let us remember that none of us make it their on our own. Instead, it is only by the power of GOD as our Provider and the loving invitation of His son Jesus that we are called his friends. We are called to extend the same invitation to those around us.

4. Love them to Jesus

Ultimately, our responsibility is to love. We must reflect the character of Christ to those who need Him the most. We are called to use our gifts to love extravagantly, just as Christ has and continues to love us. So, let us love. Let us love the poor, whether it be a lacking of spiritual or physical need. Let us throw open wide the doors of the church and our hearts and lovingly draw those around us in need closer to Christ.
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