“But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”” Matthew 9:13
Many of you know that I have been England for a few weeks and maybe it is the areas that I have travelled, but in the city of London despite all of the beautiful buildings, architecture, food and scenery, I have noticed profoundly the number of homeless people on the sidewalk.
As I encountered each of them, my heart cried out. I gave money, but the situation became overwhelming… some of these individuals I saw over and over again.
How can I truly help these individuals?
I started feeling after a while annoyed that yes the bible tells me that I need to help the poor and oppressed but seriously… why are they always in the same place. I started giving and I can’t really now sneak pass them.
And as soon as I recognized the direction of my heart I felt guilty, remorseful and very ashamed. I don’t know the situation that led to their homeless condition? I don’t know why they remain in their present situation… but I knew that my heart needed to change.
So I have prayed and studied God’s word.
If you are like me and might yourself feel hopeless to the situation of how you can help persons who are homeless, I found 5 key verses from the Bible in what we can do to help:
Extend a kind hand
“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.” Luke 14:13-14
“The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.” Ecclesiastes 9:11
At home, I love inviting people who may be seen as ‘different’ or ‘poor’ in society. I have learnt so much from them, at time able to assist them with getting work or just spending a few hours playing board games. You don’t know their situation or reason for their station in life… and you don’t really need to know. But you can extend a kind hand.
Search your heart
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:33-34
I am known for giving away at all times… but lately I have felt that I just have too much! So I have just been giving away to those that need. Why do I need 30 plates and 20 glasses when it is just me one? I don’t… but there are so many others that need, and so I give.
“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” Proverbs 19:17
“He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:33-36
We never think in terms of how our giving to the poor is closely tied to God. Be generous… you will inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
Food for thought: Many think of homeless people as those on the road but many have shelter and homes and are still ‘homeless’. Look around you. Who needs a kind hand extended to them? Who needs your generosity? What clothes or items do you have that you truly don’t need. Pray and seek God’s guidance.
Prayer: Abba father your word tells us that “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” Open our hearts Lord. May we extend your mercy to our fellow man and not live as if it is a sacrifice. Amen
May God’s mercy, grace and love be with you. Shalom