The Gospel Serves
Helping the Poor – Part 1
Scripture Reading: Galatians 2:9-10
Key Verse: Galatians 2:10
Their only suggestion was that we keep on helping the poor, which I have always been eager to do.
The Apostle Paul, though not part of the church headquarters in Jerusalem, went to the leaders in Jerusalem for accountability. James, Peter and John, the leaders of the early church, affirmed the gift of God in the Apostle Paul. They encouraged him to keep preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles. In other words, they gave Paul the right hand of fellowship and recognized his credentials, making him a co-worker.
According to Paul’s own words, these leaders only requested one thing: “Keep on helping the poor” (vs. 10). The Apostle Paul reminded them that he had always been eager to do that. Paul had a heart for the poor just as these leaders of the early church did. In fact, throughout the New Testament, helping the poor is a consistent theme. The poor in their culture had very few options on how to survive. Their government didn’t provide any help for poor people. The poor in their day had to find a spot on the streets and beg for donations.
It’s not hard to imagine the early church’s impact on their society when they put their love for Jesus into action for the poor. The early church restored some dignity to the poor by providing a loving atmosphere where they didn’t have to beg for food. It’s also easy to understand why so many opened their hearts to the Gospel message after experiencing that kind of love! (Continued)
Father, help me to see, truly see, the needs of people today! In Jesus’ name, amen.