The Gospel Gives Me a Heart for the Poor

From A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glory of God’s Love (Milton Vincent):

Like nothing else could ever do, the gospel instills in me a heart for the downcast, the poverty-stricken, and those in need of physical mercies, especially when such persons are of the household of faith.

When I see persons who are materially poor, I instantly feel a kinship with them, for they are physically what I was spiritually when my heart was closed to Christ. Perhaps some of them are in their condition because of sin, but so was I. Perhaps they are unkind when I try to help them; but I, too, have been spiteful to God when He has sought to help me. Perhaps they are thankless and even abuse the kindness I show them, but how many times have I been thankless and used what God has given me to serve selfish ends?

Perhaps a poverty-stricken person will be blessed and changed as a result of some kindness I show them. If so, God be praised for His grace through me. But if the person walks away unchanged by my kindness, then I still rejoice over the opportunity to love as God loves. Perhaps the person will repent in time; but for now, my heart is chastened and made wiser by the tangible depiction of what I myself have done to God on numerous occasions.

The gospel reminds me daily of the spiritual poverty into which I was born and also of the staggering generosity of Christ towards me. Such reminders instill in me both a felt connection to the poor and a desire to show them the same generosity that has been lavished on me. When ministering to the poor with these motivations, I not only preach the gospel to them through word and deed, but I reenact the gospel to my own benefit as well.

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4 responses to “The Gospel Gives Me a Heart for the Poor”

  1. Karen says :

    I am reading through this book as well and every page speaks to me at how the gospel is daily an important lens to look through and live by. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • joeyespinosa says :

      Totally agree! And each time I read through this book, I understand it (and the gospel) more and more. Honestly, the first time I read it, I was completely confused and overwhelmed. 🙂

  2. Janelle Keith says :

    Wow…well said. Thank you for posting this…proof of Christ’s love in us and through us as we carry out the Gospel call in our lives. There will always be the “poor” among us. Many days the “poor” is our spirits!

    • joeyespinosa says :

      That’s one of the biggest things that God has been dealing with me about –the that I am just as poor as anyone else. Poverty comes in many forms, and spiritual poverty is just as important, if not more so, than physical poverty.

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