Some Bible Passages On Meeting Others’ Earthly Needs…
My friends, the passages below are just a small sample of the many Bible verses on the importance of meeting the earthly needs of others through sacrificial giving. Notice that these passages are from both the Old and New Testaments–it is a consistent theme throughout God’s Word.
As you soak in these passages, ask the LORD to help you have both hearts and hands regarding the earthly suffering of others: both a deep desire to do your part and the will to actually do it. The pull of our own self-interest is mighty; only the power of God through His Word and His Holy Spirit can enable us to swim upstream against such a current.
However, as we have talked about over the previous posts (please click HERE), do not forget that the primary way we serve non-Christians is to tell them the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our words. We must not be content with caring for people’s bodies for their hundred years on earth and care nothing for their soul-needs for the billion-trillion+ years of their eternity…Yes, our actions can certainly introduce people to the Lord Jesus, but not actions alone; we must serve others as Jesus did, proclaiming the kingdom of God and meeting earthly needs…
Exodus 23:6,9 NIV: ““Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits…Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.”
Leviticus 23:22 NIV: “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’”
[Gleanings refer to whatever crops you didn’t collect on the first pass thru the field,
whatever crops fell to the ground as you were harvesting.]
Leviticus 25:35 NIV: “‘If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.”
Deuteronomy 10:17-20a NIV: “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. 19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. 20 Fear the Lord your God and serve him.”
Deuteronomy 15:7-11 NIV: “If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them.
8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.
9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin.
10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”
Proverbs 28:27: “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.”
Isaiah 1:17: “Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
Matthew 25:34-40 NIV: “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. 35 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, 36 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.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “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.’”
Luke 3:7-14 NIV: “John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance…The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
Luke 9:12-13 NIV: “Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to [Jesus] and said, ‘Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging…”
[Jesus] replied, “You give them something to eat.”
Luke 10:30-37 NIV: “In reply Jesus said: ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead…But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
Acts 9:36 NIV: “In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.”
Acts 10:1-4 NIV: “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. 2 He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.
One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision.
He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!”
4 Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked.
The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.”
Acts 20:34-35 NIV: “You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
2 Corinthians 8:1-5 NIV: “And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.”
James 1:27 NIV: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
James 2:14-17 NIV: “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Loved ones, please remember that it is not our good deeds that earn us heaven—our good deeds do not and cannot earn us forgiveness from the Lord Jesus. But our good deeds flow from what Jesus has done for us, by grace, through the Cross; our gifts to others flow from us receiving by faith alone the gift of Jesus’ grace alone, receiving Him as our Savior & King for the forgiveness of our sins. It is then that the good deeds that the Holy Spirit does through us become our spiritual act of worship to the LORD (Romans 12:1-2). This is what Romans 1:5 and 16:26 refer to when they talk about “the obedience that comes from faith.”