In a Regal book entitled Compassion, Justice, and the Christian Life, the author identifies ways we can help the poor help themselves. Here are some: Love the poor as neighbors—not as projects. Work with them, not for them. Instead of just giving a handout, start a business and teach people how to run it. Focus on relationships, not just programs. Make long-term commitments; don’t expect a brief project to solve long-standing problems. Help a community become self-sufficient. At the end of Paul’s last missionary journey, he met with church elders from Ephesus. He gave them some advice on how to care for God’s people. He warned them that after he left, false teachers, greedy for money and power, would come in and try to lure people away from the church and from the Lord. He counseled the elders to shepherd God’s flock, which he purchased by the blood of His Son. He urged them to faithfully guide, feed, and protect God’s people from the greedy false teachers. He then said this (Acts 20:35) “I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Today, God calls us to show concern for the needy—both Christian and non-Christian, and not just give a fish, but teach the needy how to fish.

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