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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"What We Can Do About Poverty"

August 4, 2005

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"God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.'” Luke 12:20

“You can’t abolish poverty, but you can abolish some of the consequences of poverty,” said Dr. Albert Sabin, wanting to make his anti-polio vaccine available to poor people, especially those in the Third World.

Poverty, not an evil in itself, often brings with it numerous evils: untreated illnesses, insufficient diet, poor housing, and, on the spiritual side, loss of hope and the temptation to steal.

When Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you” (Mark 14:7), He did not express His approval of poverty, nor did he imply that His followers need not be concerned about it. At other times Jesus spoke words of concern about the poor. His words to the righteous are: “I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me” (Matthew 25:35-36).

On many occasions Jesus showed His compassion for the poor. All the while He was well aware of the sinfulness of human nature that directly or indirectly causes poverty. The prodigal son caused his own poverty by his wastefulness. In another parable Jesus underscored the greed and callousness of a rich man toward poor Lazarus. Our Lord did not propound a system to eliminate poverty. But He certainly aided and advocated the abolition of “some of the consequences of poverty,” of which Dr. Sabin spoke.

And that is what Christians are doing to this day. Their concern is essentially, as Christians to make a beginning of this by dealing with spiritual poverty, that is, the great need of people who do not know the love of God in Jesus Christ. Faith in the Gospel of Christ’s redemption from sin enriches people with forgiveness, peace with God, a new purpose in life, and the promise of eternal life.

PRAYER: Lord God, help me to share my blessings with the poor, especially Your gift of Your Son as our Savior. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 123-125    2 Thessalonians 3

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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