24 Mar Those poor, poor people – 3/24/20
Asa & Amber Reini
Isaiah 61:1 – “to bring good news to the poor.”
When praying through this verse, it is important to consider two questions:
1. Who are “the poor”? It seems that this verse speaks to, but encompasses more than just material poverty. The Hebrew word used here can mean poor, afflicted, weak, or needy. This means that “the poor” includes those with financial needs, but it also includes those that are spiritually destitute, emotionally downtrodden, suffering injustice, etc. Challenges like these affect most, if not all people, so “the poor” are no longer a group of some other people. You are the poor. I am the poor. We are the poor (Romans 3:23). So then, this does not mean we neglect to care for the materially impoverished simply because we all have our own challenges. It means we go to all of “the poor”, and we go in humility because we are also “the poor”.
2. What are we bringing to the poor? The “good news” that we bring is not the type of good news you see posted on social media. It’s not “you’ll get that promotion”, “your baby will grow up healthy”, or “you’ll find that perfect person soon”. Those things may be “nice” to say, but they are hollow. We don’t know what will happen in the future and we are often powerless to make those things happen. The “good news” we bring is the news that the greatest problem in the world has already been solved. We bring the news that their sin no longer has to separate them from the love of God (John 3:16-17). We still pray for God to solve the challenges we face in this world, such as: a few more zeros at the end of our bank accounts, the health and safety of the ones we love, and connection and intimacy. We pray for all of those things, but we know that even if our Father does not give us those things in this life that there is more to come (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). We have a hope that transcends our current and future circumstances, because Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33).
- Pray that you would see your own lowliness as you seek to serve those in need.
- Pray that our Church would be full of the only good news that matters and that we would hold to the good news of Christ with conviction and ferocity.
- Pray that our city would have soft and tender hearts for the Gospel to take root. Also, pray for the health and unity of other churches so we can join together as the Body of Christ in proclaiming His Gospel.