May 20, 2022 (21st day of 2nd biblical month.)
(15 days until Pentecost!)
James 2 (Entire chapter) Not just pray for people. We should help people.
Faith alone does not save us! We must have works also!
Matt. 25:31-46 At the Great White Throne Judgment, people will be judged for whether or not they helped people, loved people and cared for people, even the strangers, not just people that we know.
Luke 6:20-38 True Christians should be loving people who are willing to help others.
Since it says "enemies", it's not limited to just people that we love the most. We should give to homeless and beggars.
We must be careful about judging strangers begging on the streets. We don't know their situation. They are asking for our help, and therefore we should help, at least a bottle of water, a gift card for a local restaurant or grocery store, or a can of food, tooth brush or a pair of warm socks in the winter. Or just a few coins. Anything is better than nothing. And it all adds up for them. If several people give one dollar, then by the end of a day, they would have several dollars, perhaps enough for fuel, or food or whatever.
I understand that most street beggars are drug addicts or alcoholics and/or very irresponsible. But what they do with their life is their business, none of ours. We don't know what made them that way, what their parents did to them, what someone else did to them, what they have seen or felt or experienced. We really don't know their situation. We should show mercy and care/love.
If you don't want to give money, then please give food or clothes, or something else.
Even if the person is an alcoholic or drug addict, we don't know for sure that they will use the money for the drugs/alcohol, they do have to eat eventually, so they might possibly buy some food.
Also, it takes time to completely overcome an addiction. For most people, deliverance isn't instant or miracle, but rather it takes months or years to overcome. They might be struggling but trying to overcome. We don't know their situation if they are a stranger.
Plus, going "cold turkey" (stopping immediately) can be dangerous in some cases, and could actually kill them. Many people have to wean themselves off of the drugs or alcohol slowing. One beer could help an alcoholic from having a stroke or dying from extreme withdrawal.
Your compassion of a dollar, with a special note, or gospel tract, could help provoke a turning point for that person to be more open to listening to Christians about the gospel. I recommend always giving them a gospel tract or bible, or both, with the money, food, gift card, item or water. When giving food, try to include a plastic spoon.
A portion of tithes can be used for giving (money, food or items) to street beggars.
NEW: (Brother Jared made a good point to me later after the sermon: If we use the excuse that the street beggar are a drug addict, then we will use the same excuse for everyone we see on the streets, when actually not all of them are drug addicts. That's very true!)
If you think that "Christians" are loving people, then I dare you to stand on a street corner begging for money just one day, for several hours, and observe the people with crosses and Christian bumper stickers on their cars, ignore you and not help you, not even with a bottle of water on a hot day.
People don't know what it means to be a Christian.
Some people make a little bag of goodies to give out to the street beggars. A bag of goodies might include a can of food, a plastic spoon, a gospel tract, a couple of coins, a tooth brush, a pair of socks, etc.
What comes around, goes around. If we have cared about people, and had mercy, and helped people, God will do the same for us.