God Helps the Helpless
Topic: Abundance for Others Passage: Luke 14:12–14:14
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Preaching Text: Luke 14:12-14
In chapter 14 of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is at a banquet. He teaches his host and other guests about who to invite when you offer a dinner. Not only does he tell them to include the marginalized, but he challenges the practice of only inviting people who cannot repay with a reciprocal invitation. Jesus refers to such people as the “least among these” in Matthew 25:40. The teaching in Luke is not really about banquets but much more about having mercy.
God helps the helpless and he wants us to do the same.
Both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are full of references to caring for the poor, the widow, fatherless, and the sojourner. See Isaiah 58:6-8 and Galatians 2:10 for just two examples.
When we care for the poor, we must check our motives because there are many wrong ones available. The motive of self-interest causes us to think we can get God into our debt somehow, as if serving the poor builds credit. Another form of self-interest can make us believe that we are paying off some debt balance or monthly dues like rent for future residence in heaven. Other times, there’s a temptation to feel superior over those being served. However, the best motivation comes from an overflow of love. The Christian is rich in Christ and overflowing with abundance for others. 2 Corinthians 8:9 describes how Christ was rich but became poor so we could be rich in him.
Be sure to take a two-pronged approached to mercy ministry. Care for both the physical needs including social justice as well as the spiritual needs for conversion and prayer. One specific group of the “least” among us is the unborn, the least capable of paying us back. Speak up for life and adoption and pray for an overturn of laws allowing abortion.
Taking it home: With your Life Group, look over the list of mercy ministries on our website or in the Connection Guide and make plans to serve.