Deuteronomy 15:11 (The Message)
10-11 Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.
House Rule #10: Look After Each Other. We have been talking about our hearts in Vineyard Heritage Center for the past few months. This is definitely a heart thing. Read Verses 7-11. In Verse 7 the Scripture says not to harden our hearts or close our hands to our poor brother and in Verse 8 it says to generous lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. In Verses 10 and 11 it says to give freely and don't have a "stingy" heart. A "stingy" heart means to be unwilling to spend; an ungenerous response; close-fisted; skimpy; deficient in amount, quality or extent; meager.
Poverty can be defined as lack of money but also can mean a lack of respect or honor. As the Body of Christ, we need to look at how society treats the poor and how we treat the poor. Jesus wants us to help His people the way He would help them. We have to be careful of our attitudes in certain circumstances and towards certain persons. Be careful of your motives; they are crucial because God looks at our hearts. We should not have a mean and selfish spirit but give with a loving kindness. When we do, it will secure a blessing. If God has given us an abundance, then it is inexcusable not to bless someone else. Our blessings are God's gift to us and we have a duty to help the poor and needy. I also think that we have a duty to help them teach them to get out of poverty. I love Hope International's way of helping the poor in other countries. They get them micro-loans and they can get a stand in a market or something similar and sell their goods and feel a sense of respect for themselves and their families. Hope has an amazing percentage of loans that are paid back and used for the next person who needs help. In Proverbs 19:17 it says: "He who lendeth unto the poor lendeth unto the Lord." In Matthew 26:11, Jesus said "The poor you have with you always." His cause was to have a heart and a concern for the poor.
Since this House Rule says to "look after each other," I believe the Body of Christ needs to look after each and every one of our brothers and sisters. There are many in the Body who need encouragement or maybe need some food or even some money to just get them through a hard time. Many times people do not want to ask for help so we should be able to discern when someone might be in need. God loves a cheerful giver. So let us pray together that we will look after each other and bless each other. We can begin to give to brothers and sisters closest to us but not limit it to them. Extend outward from there; extend the love, blessings and look after each other. Father, help us to look after each other and bless one another. Give us your heart O God!