Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

  • Sunday - 10:30 am
  • 520 8th Ave, 16th floor
    New York, NY
  • phone: +1 (973) 837-1041


BAC Sermons

Faithfulness with Money Pt 2: The Poor With Us

1998-09-23 Mk 14:7

For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

I. Wealth and Poverty are Consequences 

See: Part 1 9/98 Wealth: Obedience - Blessing;  Wisdom; Knowledge; Labor; Humility; Fearing God; Righteousness; Faithfulness; Inheritance; Luck

Poverty is a consequence of:

A. Laziness Pr 10:4 He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent makes rich.

B. No self-control/discipline/denial Pr 21:20 There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spends it up.

C. Pleasure loving Pr 21:17 He that loves pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loves wine and oil shall not be rich.

D. Greedy haste  Pr 28:22  He that hastens to be rich has an evil eye, and considers not that poverty shall come upon him.

E. Usury Pr 15:5  He that puts not out his money to usury, nor takes reward against the innocent. He that does these things shall never be moved.

F. Oppression and Bribes Pr 22:16 He that oppresses the poor to increase his riches, and he that gives to the rich, shall surely come to want.

G. Poor priorities Pr 23:4 Labor not to be rich: cease from your own wisdom. 5 Wilt you set your eyes upon that which is not? for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.

H. Unrighteous gain Jer 17:11 so he that gets riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.

I. Neglect Pr 27: 23 Be diligent to know the state of thy flocks...24  For riches are not for ever...

Pr 24:30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;

J. Escapism Pr 20:13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

K. Idleness/Purposelessness Pr 19:15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

L. Stinginess  Pr 11:24 There is that scatters and yet increases; and that withholds more than is meet, but it tends to poverty.

M. Stubbornness Pr 13:18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

N. Indulgence Pr 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

O. Dreaming Pr 28:19 He that tills his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that follows after vain persons shall have poverty enough

P.  Refusal to work Pr 16:26; 12:11; 13:4; 14:23 Ecc 9:10; 1Thess 4:11-12; 2Thess 3:10; Titus 3:14

Work consists of service; expand service capability through education, discipline, availability, skill

OT had workfare, not welfare Ex 23:11 the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat...

Le 19:10  And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard...thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the LORD your God. 23:22

II. We Have the Responsibility and Opportunity to help the Poor

A. Responsibility De 15:11  For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

Le 25:25  If thy brother be waxen poor, and hath sold away some of his possession, and if any of his kin come 35  And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Le 25:47

1Jo 3:17 who has this world's good, sees his brother have need, and shuts up his compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him?

1Tim 5:3-5 3  Honour widows that are widows indeed. (Acts 6)

B. Opportunity to lay up treasure in heaven

Jas 2:15  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16  And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Mt 25:35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

C. Part of Job’s righteous was his help to poor Job 29:12  Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.16  I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out..30:25  Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?  31:16 If I have withheld the poor from their desire, or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail;

31:19  If I have seen any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering; 34:28  So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted. 36:15 He delivereth the poor in his affliction, and openeth their ears in oppression.

III. Strategy Considerations

A. Jesus left needs unmet; Social needs are secondary to spiritual not highest good (societal or personal ethics?)

B. Poor are a ministry target rather than money target, and therefore governed by a set of ministry priorities

C. Priority is believers (Gal 6:9-10); equality in persecution (Acts 4:34-35); Give to him that asks (Mt 5:42)

D. Jesus fed those who had already demonstrated sacrificial spiritual commitment  (Ac 9:12)

E. Meeting needs is done as part of our faithfulness in other areas (glorifying God, disciplemaking, stewardship, etc.)

F. Love is doing what’s in another’s best interest; don’t prevent from reaping consequences; hunger drives on...working against God

G. Alms should be done, as the will of God, for eternal heavenly reward, rather than for a temporal ego-enhancing feeling  - Mt 6

H. Alms should be done with a compassionate heart Pr 19:17  He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again. Ex 22:25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer

I. Empowerment: Chicken Soup for soul story; Put your quarter to better use;  25 cents vs 250 dollars; give at home and abroad; teach to fish

J. Giving includes helping the poor get justice (legal aid/services, amnesty etc.)

Questions for Discussion/Reflection/Response:

1. Define poor: opposite of rich? Below poverty line? Homeless (son of man & foxes)? No food and clothing?

2. Why poor? War ; No: opportunity, education, bootstrap, models, contact with services {Why “white flight”?}  (moral vs economic)

3. Why do unbelievers give to the poor? Why do believers give? Why should believers give? Should their giving differ from unbelievers’?

4. Why is it important to discern God’s will in the area of giving to the poor?

5. What is the will of God concerning the financial resources He’s entrusted under your stewardship?