Helping People in Poverty
God calls Christians to remember the poor and do what we can to help. How much we have to give financially or even emotionally may fluctuate in the different seasons of our lives, but there is always something we can do.
The Scriptures listed below are great starting places for understanding how deeply God cares about his people helping those in poverty.
A practical way you can help others and share the love of Jesus Christ is to sponsor a child. By sponsoring a child, God will use you to bring hope and help to the family of a child in need—clean drinking water, educational opportunities, nutritional food, medical help, job training skills and other assistance.
Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.
— Proverbs 19:17, NIV
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
— James 2:14-17, NIV
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
— 1 John 3:17, NIV
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.
— Proverbs 22:9, NIV
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
— Isaiah 58:9b-10, NIV
“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’”
— Matthew 25:44-45, NIV
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
— James 1:27, NIV
Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.
— Proverbs 28:27, NIV
Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
— Proverbs 14:31, NIV
Whoever shuts their ears to the cry of the poor will also cry out and not be answered.
— Proverbs 21:13, NIV
The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.
— Proverbs 29:7, NIV
Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
— Proverbs 31:9, NIV
Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.
— Proverbs 14:21, ESV
In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.
— Acts 9:36, NIV
All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along.
— Galatians 2:10, NIV
“If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and are unable to support themselves among you, help them as you would a foreigner and stranger, so they can continue to live among you.”
— Leviticus 25:35, NIV
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
— 1 Timothy 6:17-19, NIV
If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them.
— Deuteronomy 15:7, NIV
“For 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.”
— Matthew 25:35, NIV
“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.”
— Leviticus 19:9-10, NIV
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.
— Psalm 41:1, NIV
Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.
— Isaiah 1:17, ESV
And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah: This is what the Lord Almighty said: “Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.”
— Zechariah 7:8-10