Why Mercy Ministry

Why Mercy Ministry November 19, 2012

Whyis our church involved in ministries of mercy like Operation Christmas Child,the Thanksgiving meal outreach, or “Encompass” and “Circles” through ProvidenceBible Church of Denver? Five reasons:

First,benevolence to the poor is good for the soul. Generous giving, Paul says,“benefits you” (2 Cor 8:10). Jesus Himself said, “It is more blessed to givethan to receive” (Acts 20:35).  Giving away our money and time helps freeus from greed and cultivates humility. In other words, the elders encourage youto be involved in mercy ministry because we love you and want what is best foryou!

Second,Paul explicitly says that one of the reasons we work hard and earn money isbecause not everyone can. God has given some people earning power and withheldit from others. Those who have the ability and opportunity should “work withtheir own hands, so that they may have something to share with anyone inneed” (Eph 4:28).

Third,multiple texts in the Bible clearly indicate that God’s people must show preferentialattention to the poor and needy. For example, Jesus Himself instructs us:”Give to everyone who begs from you” (Lk 6:30).  And the ApostleJohn wrote: “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yetcloses his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 Jn 3:17)

Fourth,an important part of the gospel is how it reverses the physical aspects of thecurse, including the deprivation, injustice, and neglect that came with it. Thegospel is holistic, affecting soul and body. When Jesus the King came toearth and gave us a preview of His kingdom, it included healing the sick andfeeding the hungry. Jesus didn’t come to get people ready for heaven; He cameto bring a little bit of heaven to them. He stood against every form of eviland disintegration that tore their lives apart: poverty, captivity, blindness,oppression, and disfavor. Our culture calls it “justice.” The Bible calls it“shalom” or “blessedness.”

Fifth,caring for the poor is conduct that conforms to the “shape” of thegospel, specifically, the description of the gospel in 2 Cor 8:9: “Youknow the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for yoursake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”