Tag Archives: poverty

“The Poor You Have with You Always” — Part 1

Friends:   One of the many joys of my life is my connection with Cedarcroft Bible Chapel (their website is here) in New Jersey.  The elders have me come every few months and preach on back-to-back Sundays.  Together we discuss church matters, do some Bible studies together, and pray that God would bless their work.

My next trip to Cedarcroft will be September 29-October 8.  I stay at my mother-in-law’s (she’s 92) while I’m there and catch up on episodes of “Little House on the Prairie”!  I enjoy spending time with Mom.

The elders have asked me to speak on two topics on this next visit:  our obligation to the poor and the issue of using our spiritual gifts in the local church.  So, let’s begin working on the first topic — our responsibility to the poor.

We’ve all heard the expression “the poor you have with you always!”  Yes, it was spoken by the Lord Jesus.  And, no.  It does not mean that we should not care for the poor.  The account which gave rise to His saying these words is found in Matthew 26, Mark 14, and John 12.  [I was a bit surprised that Luke doesn’t cover the event, for he shows a great deal of concern for the poor and the oppressed in his gospel].  Here is John’s account:

There are some differences in the details with the three accounts, but no real contradictions.  Here is what I found:

All accounts say this event took place in Bethany. Matthew and Mark say it was in the home of Simon the Leper. John says it was a dinner given in Jesus’ honor (with the raised Lazarus there!) Neither Matthew nor Mark mention Lazarus being there.

Both Matthew and Mark say it was a “woman” who came to Jesus. John says it was “Mary.”

Both Matthew and Mark say she poured the perfume on his head. John says it was on His feet.

Both Matthew and Mark say the disciples/some of those present asked, “Why this waste? Why was the money not given to poor!” John’s account says that Judas raised the question!

Both Matthew and Mark have Jesus rebuking the disciples (plural). John has the singular (“Leave her alone!”) said to Judas!

Interesting that it is Mark who says about Judas making a deal with the chief priests to betray Jesus (one would have thought that it would have been in John’s account).

In our next post, we will examine John’s account in more detail.  Is it ever right not to help the poor? (to be continued)




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Posted by on August 23, 2018 in the poor


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Wanting to Do Good? (A Story Concerning Poverty)

Simply wanting to do good is sometimes not enough. Lloyd Reeb (author of From Success to Significance) tells about visiting the country of Albania. Seeing a young Albanian beggar girl lying on a tattered blanket, her tears making clean lines down her dirty face, he wanted to do something. He quietly stuck some money in her filthy jacket and left. Sharing his story with a missionary, he was told, “That was the worst thing you could have done, Lloyd! You sentenced her to a life-time of street begging, for she is now branded as a very successful beggar!”

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Posted by on August 22, 2018 in poverty


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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 40)

Psalm 40
For the director of music. Of David. Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 6.49.24 AMA psalm.

1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.

4 Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
5 Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.

6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened[c]—
burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 6.52.09 AMcome—
it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”

9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.

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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in the book of Psalms


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Another Joke from Jerry! (Jewish couple being robbed)

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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in jokes


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GOT POVERTY? (time for a good cartoon)

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Posted by on July 30, 2014 in poverty


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