Heart for the Poor, Homeless and Oppressed

Whenever we want to understand an issue, it is important to consider what God’s Word says first. In this study we will discover the Bible’s perspective on poverty. Scripture mentions poverty and injustice more than any other issue. Yet, how many of us have spent time really considering the plight of the poor through God’s eyes?


Imitating God’s compassion for the poor is an essential, mandatory part of our Christian lives.

James 1:27            James 2:14-17       Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Proverbs 31:8-9     Proverbs 21:13      Proverbs 22:9

Proverbs 28:27       Isaiah 58:1-11

God uniquely identifies Himself with the poor and intimately ties our worship of Him with caring for the poor.

Proverbs 14:31         Matthew 25:31-46           Proverbs 19:17

One of the best ways to help a person is to show them respect. As you look into their eyes, talk to them with genuine interest, and recognize their value as an individual, you will give them a sense of dignity that they sometimes rarely experience.

Another good place to start is by volunteering is at your local church. If your congregation doesn’t have a homeless ministry, find a reputable organization in your city that invites church members to join them and start serving alongside them.

Giving is another great way to help, however, unless the Lord directs you, don’t give money directly to the homeless. Cash gifts are often used to buy drugs and alcohol. Instead, make your donations to a well-known, reputable organization in your community. Many shelters and soup kitchens also welcome contributions of food, clothing and other supplies.

Prayer is one of the easiest and most positive ways you can help the homeless.  Pray for them pray without ceasing!

Because of the harshness of their lives, many homeless people are crushed in spirit. But Psalm 34:17-18 says, “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  God can use your prayers to bring deliverance and healing to broken lives.



great commissioned moments

(While doing my morning reading this morning this was what was on tap!  It can’t be said any better therefore I will just use it for today’s post!  Thank you She Reads Truth Guest writer Debbie Eaton.)

What holds you back from being available for commissioned moments? When have you experienced a commissioned moment and how did you witness God’s supernatural power at work? Pray and ask God to present a commissioned moment. Then let’s take the time to share our stories and encourage one another.

Text: Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-20

It was an ordinary day and, as usual, I wandered into my local Starbucks to get my mocha. Behind me was a young man, and I decided to buy him whatever he wanted. At first he refused, but with some encouragement he said yes. It was what followed that took my breath away. I got an impression that I was to tell him that God saw him and loved him.

In total honestly, I doubted myself and almost moved on to my next activity. But in an instant moment, I turned to him and told him – God sees you, you are known and you are loved. His reaction was tearful and awe-struck as he told me he was desperately wondering if God had forgotten him. As we took a seat at a table, he told me he had been kicked out of his house, was living on pennies and had lost hope in God. We spoke for a few moments and prayed together.

Why do we live in the tension of worship and doubt that disables us to share the truth of God’s love? (See Matthew 28:17.)

She Reads Truth

You and I are commissioned – authorized by God – to “therefore go and make disciples” who will know Him and live for Him. This is a commandment from Jesus.

We can only do that if we are available and ready for the commissioned moments.

It starts with how pliable our heart is to choose worship, choose to deepen our spiritual growth and choose to hear the voice of God. Oswald Chambers says it like this: “Yet you cannot make disciples unless you are my disciple.”

We must be tenacious to align with God’s agenda and not ours. When we align with Him, then we can be freely available for the commissioned moments. This is not easy because our self-centered, busy, chaotic life can hurry us to miss those moments. Our doubt and fear of rejection can have us walk away and ignore when the moments present themselves.

Therefore, we have a minute-by-minute choice to align with God, slow down, trust and believe that the great commission can be lived out at Target, the workplace, school drop-off, athletic fields, grocery stores, the park, a walk with a friend, mission trips to local communities and global nations, in our families, a private conversation on Facebook and, of course, at Starbucks.

Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

What a promise and encouragement that Jesus is with us always! Now, in His power, let’s forge forward to embrace our commissioned moments and nurture discipleship.

I ran into this young man again in Starbucks. His circumstances had not changed, but he lit up when he saw me. We sat down together over a cup of coffee, spoke about God and prayed together again.

Guest writer Debbie Eaton is a Southern CA girl who is passionate about the impact of daily influential God moments we have with one another. She deeply values being a follower of Christ, a wife of 27 years, mother of a teenage son, the beauty of friendship, writing, speaking, leadership and a good cup of coffee. She was the Director of Women’s Ministry at Saddleback Church. 


Hope for those without Hope

Hope for those without Hope

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:24-25)


I think that out of all the bad feelings we can have in this life, hopelessness has to be the worst. It causes us to lose our motivation for even the simplest things in life, like eating or taking care of ourselves.  For those who struggle with illness, pain, drugs, alcohol, mental illness and/or homelessness these feelings of hopelessness can be overwhelming.

Instead of trusting God, We allowed that black cloud to close in on us and it felt like God has walked away from us, leaving us alone to struggle with the hundreds of questions that seemed to have no answers.

God has led me to 2 Corinthians 4:16-18,

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

As I read this, I realize that I sometimes place my hope on others finding the answer to problems rather than on trusting in God. I repented before God and asked his forgiveness for allowing hopelessness to become an idol in my life and allowing it to replace my faith and trust in Him.

I’ve learned that without Him in my life, all there is hopelessness. God is hope, that’s what He offers and that’s who He is.


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Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that whenever I get feeling down or discouraged that you’ll remind me that you are a God of hope and possibilities. Help to remember that it is I who allow myself to become hopeless when I focus on my problems rather than on you. Amen.


A Lowly Estate

The homeless considered the most destitute of all the poor, are positioned to bring great honor and Glory to God.  Their lowly estate makes it possible for God to raise them up with great visibility before the unbelieving world.  God’s own Son was “Homeless” during different parts of his life. Luke 9:58 (NIV) 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.


In a spiritual sense, all are “Homeless” on this earth.  The believer’s true home remains yet to seen; it is not one made with human hands. Hebrews 11:13-16 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

You are always to be sensitive and responsive to those who are weaker… Romans 15:1 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Proverbs 31:8  Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.


God often chose to reveal Himself to the world through the poor; rarely do the rich, great, and noble hear his call or choose His path. James 2:5  Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?  The Rich and the Kingdom of God   Matthew 19:16-24

Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments. ”Which ones?” he inquired.

Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.”

 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”

 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

The first step to having your physical needs met is to become “poor in spirit,” recognizing that every heart is separated from God is in spiritual poverty, which is far more tragic than physical poverty. When Jesus says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” He is declaring that, before we can enter God’s kingdom, we must recognize the utter worthlessness of our own spiritual currency and the inability of our own works to save us.  Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.



Not everyone who says to me “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles.”  Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you.  Away from me, you evildoers!”  Matthew 7:21-23


We are saved by God’s grace when we believe in Jesus and put our faith in him, but biblical belief is more than something we confess with our mouths; it’s something we confess with our lives and live day in day out there are no brakes, and no “Fence Sitting” you have both feet in and don’t have time to play games.  What do you do when you are watching a movie and it is not appropriate? What do you do when everyone wants to party and you know what God expects you to do… do you stay?  What about if it cost you a friendship or family member do you give in to what they want even if it is against God’s will or do you stand up for what you know he has said in his word to do?  Are you playing Church?

You say “Lord, Lord” but to you live it in your day to day life.  Do others know that they know that you are not just playing church you’re a true believer?  Playing church doesn’t make you a believer, just like watching football and knowing about football doesn’t make you a football player and laying a quilt in your lap or on your bed doesn’t make you a quilter.  Just attending church on a Sunday morning or a special Holiday doesn’t make you a Christian.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save him?  Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?  James 2:14

What does your life reflect?  When others look at you what do they see?

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It comes to a personal relationship do you know him and does he know you.  What we say and what we do overflows out of the relationship we have with him.  If you are living for him truly living for him you will not be swayed!  And if you are you will have a repented heart.  Because we saved but not perfect.

Ephesians 2:8              Jude 1:24           Romans 8:38-39

The bible clearly teaches that there will be those who think they are saved but who are not.  They will live out their lives with false assurance of salvation.  They think of themselves as followers.  But they sit on the fence one foot in one foot out.  It is not black and white for them they live in a lot of grey areas that God’s word never justified or say were ok.

In my relationship with my husband it would never work if we didn’t truly know each other and spent time with each other continually growing a relationship.  Making him a priority above others and listening to what he feels and wants.  There can’t be grey in a marriage and just like that God doesn’t want grey in his relationship with him.  Jesus has defined the relationship he wants with us we are to be his bride.  He is not interested in just being admired by someone who does everything in moderation with one foot in the game he wants completely committed followers with both feet in no fence sitters or grey areas.


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“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” —1st John 3:17

Homeless people are dear to the heart of God.  A lot of people today are very selfish, they have a nice place to live, and only think about themselves. (A nice place to live does not make you selfish it is a heart issue that causes the selfishness.  What you do with what you are given that is a question of the heart.)  As Christians, we ought to be different from the unsaved world, exemplifying the Lord in our daily lives. Philippians 2:4-5 . . . Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,”  Jesus was always thinking about helping OTHERS, which is what Philippians 2:4-5 says we are to do also. We ought to constantly look for opportunities to do things to help those in need not just the homeless, but also the widows, and anyone you see with a genuine need.  The hallmark character trait of being a Christian is genuine concern for others.


“Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble” (Psalm 41:1).


“Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy”       (Psalm 82:3).


1 Corinthians 13:3-6

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.

The word “charity” means LOVE.

When we see our resources not only as God’s provision for us but as tools He desires us to use to care for others, we begin to understand the vastness of His love and sovereignty.

Clifford “Gabby” Lapolt

Clifford "Gabby" Lapolt

Clifford L. Lapolt (Gabby) 68 of Medford Ore. passed away Thursday January 9th, 2014 at a local foster care home. This is what was written in the paper on January 18th 2014 about “Gabby” all the information they could find but there is so much more to be said by those who knew and loved this amazing man.

Clifford (Gabby) Lapolt:  Passes away on January 9th after his second battle with cancer in three years. He was 68 years old and had been living on the streets of the Rogue Valley for as long as we can remember.  In the past 2 years he had moved into a bedroom at a local boarding house that many homeless live in so as to get off the streets at night.  He was going through a second bout with cancer and had just been discharged from the hospital at the time of his death; he had only been in the foster care house for 9 short hours when he passed away.  We know this because we had spoken the evening before and were delivering bedding and fresh black coffee no sugar no cream to him that morning when we were met at the door and told that he had passed away.  As far as anyone knows “SOS Ministry and Friends Helping Friends also with the homeless in Medford were his only family.”  So we were given everything he owned!  It all fit in two garbage sacks!

What an amazing man, the quiet spirit, caretaker of many.  Tipping his hat, he would give you a wink and smile as he left the park. Waving and graciously speaking anytime he saw us in town. The young and old, that live homeless or couch surf would come to him for a strong yet quiet opinion; speaking the hard truth, the quiet spirit.  What can be said about a man who would sit so reserved under the shade of a tree; book in hand reading yet another western novel. Gabby was always respondent to the needs of his peers, you can still hear his humble voice, “Circle Up We Need To Pray.”

In my opinion (Kayla, SOS Coordinator) Gabby was not just another homeless person, he was my friend. Every week on Wednesday, I looked forward to getting to the park and seeing him. He was a sweet, generous, caring yet stubborn and ornery man.  He enjoyed coming through the line for his food, each week with a smile on his face no matter what he had been through during the day or week. He was content with what he had and he was thankful and blessed for the life he lived.  He cared for everyone that came in touch with his life; he was always willing to stop everything that was going on and gather everyone up to pray. He had that cowboy, western old fashion look and he always had on his hat and boots, one thing I will never forget. I will always remember the way he picked on me and treated me not just as someone who was feeding him, but as someone who he cared for. He loved all of us at the park! I know that we not only touched his life and blessed him in many ways, but he too, blessed us and touched our lives in a way that will never be forgotten.

I’d known “Gabby” since I was only 6 years old (Rikiya, age 11). He was a very nice, Godly, generous man. Kayla and I always went over to talk to him during S.O.S. he always had a smile and a hug for me.

We have all had them. People God brings across your path to minister to, seemingly out of the blue, seemingly random. Except we know, it was God appointed. Who has God brought across your path? Has God used you recently to walk beside someone during a difficult season? Or has He brought someone along to be the person to come beside you when you were hurting? 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 

(We have added our Theme Song as a group for our Friendship with “Gabby”  Gabby you will be missed but we will continue this ministry ever mindful of what you taught us along the way.)

Prayer with Gabby                          Kaylan and Rikiya    Gabby 1

What the Bible has to say about Poor and Homeless

The Bible contains more than 300 verses on the poor, social justice, and God’s deep concern for both.  Today they are often forgotten people of poverty and oppression, yet it is clear from what is in the Bible that they are always on God’s mind. His messages being quite clear help the needy.  Some think: “Of course God loves the poor; He loves everybody.” But it’s not as simple as that; God’s character is presented as a model for our own. If God values the poor, we have to think about what that means for us.

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.  Psalms 140:12

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:16-21 

We are all called to help the Poor and Needy.  This may be praying for them, giving them a gift, a smile, helping at a shelter, giving to a ministry, helping that person in your life that is down and out, the widow, a single mother, someone new in town with no friends or family, that neighbor with no visitors…  Just as we have many Spiritual Gifts there are many ways to give.

“Feed the hungry! Help those in trouble! Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you shall be as bright as day. And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy you with all good things, and keep you healthy too; and you will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. (TLB, Isaiah 58:10-11)

 Each of us has something to give. Some have wealth, some have talents, and some have time. Whatever gifts we have been given — large or small — we should share generously. When we do, we make the world better for someone else and find true meaning and satisfaction in our own lives.Image