12 Ways to Connect With the Poor
By • 06/12/2012
Steve Sjogren: "How can we obey God if we aren’t connecting with the poor on a regular basis? We can’t. Something needs to change."
8. Learn to Pray 10-Second Prayers
As you begin to intersect with those in need, you will have opportunities to pray short prayers. Jesus prayed a lot of short but effective prayers. We need to learn how to connect with God—and others—through micro-bursts of prayers. God is interested in you intersecting with people in need.
9. Sort Clothes
Right now, clothes in your closet are going to waste. You are not wearing them. The same holds true for shoes. You aren’t going to be wearing a lot of this stuff again. Do a quick sort and heave! Make sure you deliver these things personally to where they will go out.
10. Reread the Four Gospels and Acts
Go back to the Gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus and the early church. If you have a difficult time reading, consider listening to Scripture on your iPod. You can cover any of the Gospels in about 90 to 120 minutes. You can get the audible version on iTunes.com. I highly recommend The Bible Experience. As you follow the story, pay attention to the frequent times the topic of the poor comes up. You will find there are more occurrences regarding the poor than you might have thought existed. Let God speak to you through His Word. Pay attention to the practical ways the believers ministered to those in need.
11. Journal Your Discoveries
When life is done, you will want to give away your accrued riches to your children, grandchildren, etc. You may not have much in terms of material goods to give away. That doesn’t matter. You may give away a rich trove to your relatives if you give them some great thoughts—the summary of your life in the form of journal entries. Pay special attention to what God is showing you about those in need—along with what you are learning about your heart. As we get around people in need we end up discovering lots of new things about ourselves.
12. Just Begin
Nothing will replace simple obedience. Just step out to obey God in what He is showing you to do.
Don’t make a bigger issue out of this than need be. You aren’t moving to Calcutta. You are just taking some simple steps toward interacting with those in need. You don’t need to do something (or things, plural) that will be amazing. The simpler your plan for obedience, the better. If you allow your plan to become complex, you can get mired down. God calls us to care for the hungry, the thirsty, the naked and those who are foreigners among us. It’s that simple. There is your calling in the pages of Scripture.
Connecting with the needy is a powerful step toward personal renewal. Want to stir up your spiritual life? Your spiritual temperature will go up as you step out to care for those in need. As you obey, you won’t be able to stay the same. If you want to draw closer to God, draw closer to those in need.