Why I care about the poor … I will be blessed
Our motive is not to be blessed. We give because God first gave to us and because we love people.
Starting in the Old Testament, there is a definite, clear message: God blesses us as we help others.
7. But if there are any poor Israelites in your towns when you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard-hearted or tight-fisted toward them.
8. Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need.
9. Do not be mean-spirited and refuse someone a loan because the year for cancelling debts is close at hand. If you refuse to make the loan, and the needy person cries out to the Lord, you will be considered guilty of sin.
10. Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do.
11. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need.
Jesus made a simple but profound statement in Matthew 10:42 …and if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.
Again the message is clear in Luke 6:38
38. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full – pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.
Paul further endorses the principle in Acts 20:33.35
33. "I have never coveted anyone's silver or gold or fine clothes. 34. You know that these hands of mine have worked to supply my own needs and even the needs of those in need of working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"
7. Don't be misled – you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.
8. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
9. So let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.
10. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith.
So, the real question is not whether we can afford to give to the poor, but can we afford not to give to the poor.