Day 3

Making Room for the Poor

Deuteronomy 15:11, Proverbs 22:9, 1 Samuel 2:7-8, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, James 2:1-13, 1 John 3:17-20

BY Kaitlin Wernet

We dragged a queen-sized mattress from the guest room, which could only mean one thing: showtime. Growing up, my brother and I crafted our best gymnastics routines under the forest green glow of our bonus room. Standing in line, we’d take turns tumbling and toppling to the latest Backstreet Boys hits, the mattress catching our falls. We would practice for hours, gaining confidence with our bounding and landing. Then we’d make a phone call to the neighbor kids, inviting them to our pre-dinnertime performance.

I should be the first to admit that the show was never great. These were not Olympic backflips and handsprings; we were the somersault-and-YMCA kind of kids. We’d run and flip and run and flip until the audience got bored and decided to show us they could actually do better—and they could do headstands. The thing is, I’ve never been able to do a headstand. My legs are too long and my patience too thin. “Just try it!” the neighborhood kids would say. “You can do it!” they insisted.

When it comes to most things in life—and when we’re talking about how to serve those who are poor—Jesus asks us to do the same: Take the world’s promises and turn them upside down. That’s how you’ll see My promises. In Scripture, we look upside down to see right-side up. Let’s attempt a headstand together:

The LORD brings poverty and gives wealth;
he humbles and He exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the trash heap.
He seats them with noblemen
and gives them a throne of honor” (1 Samuel 2:7–8).

Maybe it’s the blood rushing to my head, but I’m seeing in a fresh light all the ways the Lord cares for the poor. He lifts them “from the dust” and gives them “a throne of honor” with noblemen. Do you see what I’m seeing? Not once do these verses mention money. True wealth has nothing to do with our bank accounts; it has to do with the riches of the kingdom that are ours in Christ.

Does God use money to help the poor get on their feet or provide them with a warm meal? Yes. Should we serve the poor among us by meeting their physical needs? Absolutely! Scripture tells us this is a non-negotiable (1 John 3:17). The gospel calls for us to make room for the poor in our budgets and in our homes, and to welcome them into the family of God, just as God welcomes us. Regardless of our material wealth or lack, we are all spiritually bankrupt without the lavish love and grace of God given to us in Jesus Christ.

When we think loving the poor is too complicated—if we get bogged down in the logistics, wondering who and how and what, when it comes to our time and resources—we can go to God’s Word for clarity. In his first letter to Timothy, Paul gives us a reminder on how to see things gospel-side up:

Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share,
storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age,
so that they may take hold of what is truly life (1 Timothy 6:18–19).

Generosity is more than a kind gesture; it is a lifeline that keeps us tethered to what is real, to what is eternal. When we joyfully give our resources to those in need, it reminds us that everything we have is a gift from the God who lifts us from our desperate need by His grace. May we be generous with our time, our homes, our money, as an outpouring of the room that has already been made for us in Christ. Amen.

Post Comments (117)

117 thoughts on "Making Room for the Poor"

  1. Sophia Williams says:

    I can’t help thinking how our world/the media encourages the total opposite of generosity – everyone is obsessed with working more, earning more, having more of what they ‘deserve’. I am guilty of this. Growing up and attending a Christian school we were reminded every day to give back, but I wonder how many of us have upheld that as adults?

  2. Sydney Pape says:

    This was good for me to read. My husband is low ranking military. I don’t consider myself “poor”, but definitely have struggles sometimes. So I often find it hard to help other people when there sometimes isn’t even a LITTLE extra for my family. But I like how this talks about being generous to the poor doesn’t mean just giving money to people who are struggling financially. Generosity can be given in many other ways. I like buy friends coffee here and there when I’m able or invite them over for dinner and just make a little extra and be able to just be together! I think there are ways that families who are even struggling a bit themselves can still be generous. I am thankful to God that my family has a roof over their heads, cars to drive, food to eat, bills still always paid time. I am blessed! Even if I don’t have a lot of extras or an abundance of money to give to people. Lord, help me find ways to be generous to people even when my family isn’t able to give financially.

  3. Becky says:

    Opps! It’s on Amazon prime movies.

  4. Becky says:

    I would like to recommend a movie which we found on Netflix titled ‘Mully’. Mully grew up in poverty and became a provider of children abandoned in the streets. You will be in awe of all that God did because this man said yes to Him.

  5. Breana Scheckwitz says:

    Such a good reminder! God gave me the opportunity to love on a poor person the other day and I swear, I came away more blessed than the man did.

  6. Monica Davis says:

    Key to receive is to give!

  7. Michelle says:

    I never appreciated before that the Deut. reading speaks of caring for the poor in “your” land. Caring for the poor elsewhere is great, but we gotta care for our own as well. For those of us living overseas, we have the added challenge of sorting out where our land(s) is/are.

  8. Tamara B. says:

    Praise God that he raises the poor and lifts the needy… this is a beautiful reminder of God’s continuing, daily care for others. Currently, I live in India and the truth of this verse is visible on my street, community, and the nation as a whole. What stood out to me was;
    “he lifts the needy from the ash heap
    to make them sit with princes
    and inherit a seat of honor.”
    My version says, “lofty the needy from the garbage pile”
    On my street, the rich and poor exist together and every day I observe those working, living, surviving in/around the trash heap. I’ve seen God lift those people out of a life of darkness and exalted them for His Glory. Those who were named in this society as untouchable have now been made clean, and placed in positions that they were not allowed before. This verse reminds me to not lose hope that He is working around me. When my heart starts to faint, may I be found meditating on this verse. May I be willing to give more of my resources, time, and gentle touch knowing that he is my provider.

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