Dear friends & supporters of Rev Themi worldwide,
And to these supporters we thank you.
Your generous monthly donations and gifts keep Fr Themis mission going;
If you donate via “Good News Text as trustee for the Rev Themi & Friends Trust”,
But, for some reason, many of “we christians”, have lost sight as to why and
Charity is “to give with no return, no benefit, no profit, no recognition”; giving to
Brothers & Sisters, forgive us if we seem too pushy, but Fr Themis needs are
Please consider joining Fr Themi and help him in his work to help the poor.
the rest of the world.
Cornelius, the Roman Centurion, is introduced to us in Acts 10.
So…why is that so important? Because… He was Jesus’ first pick! Can we for a moment picture Jesus in Heaven saying, “I can’t wait to bless this guy, I love him, I’m pleased with him, he’s my first choice for salvation beyond the chosen children of Israel?
Is God making a statement here? Yes, He is! Along with fervent faith-filled prayer, serving the poor is very important to God!
In the book of Galatians the key apostles Peter, John and James are in a church board meeting together with Barnabas and Paul…and the ministry agenda of great importance is then revealed :
Indirectly this important verse reveals an important questions:
So, “Why Serving the Poor is So Important!”
Because serving the poor brings with it some of the most powerful promises of blessing, protection, and refreshment in all of the Scriptures that are anchored in the faith-filled act of service and giving to the poor.
Luke 12:33-34 32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Rom 14:17 is largely grounded in these vital steps of obedience. Promises that our spirit and soul shall be greatly refreshed like a well watered garden whose springs never fail (Isaiah 58:11) are rooted in properly connecting to serving the poor.
And yet, with all the amazing and incredible Scriptural blessings promised to those who respond, there is also a downside for those who don’t respond, in which we should also take heed and learn from!
In the western world we’ve grown to love our prosperity. With that in mind, it’s important to remember that biblical history shows us that prosperity not coupled with charity gradually heaps up God’s reluctant judgment in severity. In many ways, it seems our western world is in troubled times.
The noble Bereans searched the Scriptures (Acts 17:10-12)… let us also search the Scriptures regarding this important matter of serving the poor.
My hope and prayer is that we as the modern day Orthodox Church would make serving the poor a priority as it did in the early church and as the Apostle Paul did, “that this very thing I was eager to do” (Gal 2:10)! In the strong exhorting words of Heb 10:24-25—Let us consider how to stir up one another into love and good deeds as we see the Day of our Lord approaching (Heb 10:24-25).
Perhaps Saint John Chrysostom’s closing words from his Second Homily will prove to be a fitting evidence for we Orthodox today……
Why Is Serving The Poor So Important?
Because…whoever is kind to the needy honors God (Pro 14:31)
He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done. (Pro 19:17)
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. (Pro 11:25)
And you will be blessed, because they can not repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (Luke-14:13-14)
Because…He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever (2Cor 9:9)
Because…Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. (Acts 10:4)
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me. (Matt 25:40)
He that gives unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse. (Proverbs 28:27)
Give to the needy…and you will be clean all over. (Luke 11:41)
God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. (Acts 10:31)
Blessed is he that considers the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and You will not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of sickness: You will restore him in his sickness. (Ps 41:1-3)
Because…the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I (the Lord) command you, saying, You shall open your hand wide unto your brother, to your poor, and to your needy, in your land. (Deut 15:11)
The Lord Jesus said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)
Give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. (2Cor 9:7)
Because…by this service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for your obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. (2Cor 9:13-14)
Because…The righteous considers the cause of the poor: but the wicked regard not to know it. (Pro 29:7)
Because…the Lord Almighty says: Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor… but they refused to pay attention…and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord Almighty had sent by His Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the Lord Almighty was angry. When I called, they didn’t listen; so when they called, I would not listen, says the Lord Almighty. I scattered them with a whirlwind among the nations where they were strangers. (Zech. 7:9-14)
Because…this was the sin of … Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Eze. 16:49-50)
Because…Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…(James 1:27)
Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised to those who love Him (James 2:5)
Because…What does it profit, my brethren, though a man say he has faith, and have not works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what does it profit? Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. (Ja 2:14-17)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? …let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His Presence. (1Jo 3:16-19)
Your Father’s good pleasure is to give you the Kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the poor; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail…For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:33-34)
Because…If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isa 58:10-11)
Remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do. (Gal 2:10)