I am grateful that Redemption Church began its initial Thanksgiving serving meals and fun to a local area perceived to be poor.
It also was encouraging that our church spent time in prayer for the extreme poor of the Philippines when they were so totally devastated by typhoon Haiyan in November, remembering especially the children, those so dreadfully preyed upon by the sexual exploitation industry.
God has always shown in His Word a special place for the poor:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.” (Luke 6:20-21) and
“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. (Luke 7:22).
My favorite concerning the poor is found in the 25th chapter of Mathew.
The disciples always had difficulty understanding the Christ would die, only returning later.
I believe that he was teaching them how to worship Him when we was physically gone.
Mathew 25: 35-40 says: For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you cared for me,
I was in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you drink? …or see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?
Verse 40 is powerful “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
I believe that Jesus was telling his disciples that one chief way they can still worship him when he is gone is by service to the poor.
Redemption Church must serve the poor… and we must not do so out of an act of duty, but as an act of love.
It is after all an act of worship of our Lord.
This post was written by Duane Lawrence, husband of Glenda, father of Jeff, Clint, and Becky, and resident old man of Redemption Church.
–January 12th is a very big day for Redemption Church! Thank you for praying with us! For more information about the launch of Redemption Church and how you can pray for us, please click here.