He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
It is impossible to be a true Christian and mistreat the poor. It does not matter if you sing, “Oh, how I love Jesus.” It does not matter if you attend a church to pretend to worship God. Pure religion before the all-seeing eyes of God is to take care of the poor (Jas 1:27). As the proverb declares plainly, true honor of God involves mercy toward the poor.
The poor are generally defenseless and helpless. If you take advantage of them in this weak condition, you reproach God their Creator. He will avenge all such offences (Deut 10:17-18; Ps 68:5). You reproach God by abusing His creation of the poor and His providence in leaving them poor (I Sam 2:7). He made both the rich and poor, and no matter how rich you might be, you are no better than the poor (Pr 17:5; 22:2,16,22-23).
You are not a self-made man. If you are rich, it is not because of your ability, effort, or intelligence. Time and chance, by the providence of God, has made you what you are today (Eccl 9:11). God gave you what you have, and it is a sin to boast as if you did not receive it as a gift (I Cor 4:7). You are God’s gift away from being the poor yourself.
It is dangerous and deceitful religion that takes comfort in a form of godliness without the true power of holy living (II Tim 3:1-5). Charity and love are the great evidence of a true Christian. Faith is not such good evidence, because the devils believe and tremble (Jas 2:19). But the labor of love toward the poor shall never be forgotten (Matt 25:31-46; I Cor 12:31; 13:13; I Thess 1:2-4; I Tim 6:17-19; Heb 6:10; II Pet 1:5-7).
Some think that inviting Jesus into their heart is the condition, evidence, and proof of eternal life. But the only verse in the Bible that uses language close to this has nothing to do with eternal life (Rev 3:20). The real evidence and proof of eternal life is considering the poor and spending your money to take care of them (I John 3:17-19).
Religion in form or ritual is meaningless to God. In fact, He hates it (Is 1:10-15; 58:1-5)! He wants religion of the heart, which gives away your money to those who have no claim on your mercy (Is 1:16-20; 58:6-11). A man that truly knows God is always thinking outside his own little life to help and serve others (Acts 20:35; II Cor 12:14-15).
Of course, not all the poor are worthy of care. If a man does not do all he can do, then he is lazy. Starvation is the best gift for him (Pr 20:4; II Thess 3:10). God only cares about legitimate needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter, of real victims, such as orphans, widows, or a wounded man the Lord puts in your way (Is 58:7; Luke 10:25-37).
God will reward the man who honors Him by taking care of the poor (Pr 19:17; 28:27; Ps 41:1). It is a win-win-win situation to help the poor – you are practicing pure religion, the poor rejoice at your kindness, and God will prosper you! The more money you scatter in their direction, the faster and farther you will get ahead (Pr 11:24-26). Guaranteed!
It is amazing to watch the covetous get farther and farther behind, while the generous get farther and farther ahead. The more you give away, the more you will have; the less you give away, the less you will have. The blessed God of heaven will overrule the math every time. This wisdom is far too high for the bright fools at business schools (Pr 24:7)!
God Himself takes care of the poor far beyond anything you have ever considered. If it were not for the willingness of Jesus Christ to become poor for the sake of His elect, they would live and die in utter spiritual poverty and then drop into hell for eternity. But He became poor that they might be made rich with eternal life (II Cor 8:9)! All glory to God!