Sermon on Sunday June 1, 2014 by Pastor Thomas Tate
BEING EAGER TO HELP THE POOR
-HELPING VERSUS ENABLING-
Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also. It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain. But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised. But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage. But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me. But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles), and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.
BEING EAGER TO HELP THE POOR
- They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.
HELPING THE POOR VERSUS ENABLING A DESTRUCTIVE LIFESTYLE
- The Lord will not allow the righteous to hunger, but He will reject the craving of the wicked. Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.
- Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
- For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.
JESUS WANTS US TO CARE FOR THE DOWN AND OUT
- “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink…
THE CHURCH TOOK CARE OF ONE ANOTHER
- And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
THE POORS RESPONSIBILITY, DON’T EXPECT MORE THAN WHAT JESUS HAD
- Then a scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
THE POORS RESPONSIBILITY, GOD MEETS YOUR NEEDS NOT WANTS
- “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing? “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
THE POORS RESPONSIBILITY, WORK HARD
- “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,” then your poverty will come as a robber and your want like an armed man.
WHAT’S MOST IMPORTANT?
- a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste“ For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. “For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.
JESUS TOLD PAUL TO SPREAD GOSPEL
- “And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. ‘But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you; rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’
BETTER TO GO TO HEAVEN HUNGRY THAN GO TO HELL WITH A FULL STOMACH
- “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?
Sermon-based Bible Study Questions
BEING EAGER TO HELP THE POOR
1. What was the poorest (financially) time of your life? Why was it and what did you do about it?
2. In poor 3rd world countries it easy to identify the truly poor and needy, why is it so difficult in America to know who is truly in need of help? How do you decide whom to help and not help?
3. Read Galatians 2:1-10. Paul supports his apostleship and the authority of his gospel by name dropping and pointing out the support that he has from the original apostles. What is the one thing that they ask him to do and he was eager to do? Why do you think this was so important to the apostles and should it still be important to us today?
4. Read Matthew 25:37-42. What does Jesus say about helping the down and out and how important it is to Him? When was a time that you were able to help others and what was your motivation?
5. What is the difference between helping and enabling? What does God’s word say about helping versus enabling bad habits? (Read Proverbs 10:3-5; Ephesians 5:11-14; 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13). How do you handle this when it’s your child that is being enabled?
6. Though the disciples asked Paul to remember the poor what did Jesus command him to do (Acts 26:15-18)? What is most important (Mark 8:36) and why? How can they work hand in hand, meeting physical needs and spiritual needs? How can you help the church accomplish these things?