The Purpose of the Poor

The Purpose of the PoorIs there a positive purpose to poverty? Marty Martin shares his thoughts on the purpose of the poor, which he says is “the elevation of all humanity.”

The story of Lazarus and the rich man, told by Jesus in Luke 16:19-31, illuminates the idea that the opportunity to respond to people in poverty is actually an invitation from God.

Marty also responds to these other common questions.

  • Can we use the story of Lazarus and the rich man to determine who is going to heaven?
  • Are rich people forbidden from going to heaven?
  • How are the poor elevated through their poverty?

Marty Martin serves with Food for the Hungry as Chief Operating Officer for the Global Service Center, Phoenix. Marty has over 30 years of experience in pastoral ministry, relief and development operations, and corporate management in Africa, Asia and North America. Trained as an Air Force pilot he also possesses a Masters degree from Covenant Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Humanities degree from Colorado Christian University. Marty has been with Food for the Hungry since 2005.

In the message, Marty challenges listeners to become involved with Food for the Hungry. Check out some of the opportunities for involvement: church partnerships, sponsoring a child, running with FH World Sports, Hunger Corps (long-term service), and careers.

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How to Say “I Love You”

When we walk with people living in poverty, communicating God’s love is one of the most important messages we bear. For those who feel forgotten by God and devalued by the world, the truth of God’s love can transform everything.

A beautiful truth about mankind is that God made us in His image. Genesis 1:26-27 puts it simply.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Being made in the image of God is good news! It’s a profound statement of the value of each person, and of God’s love for each of us.

In this episode, we explore what it means to be made in God’s image. Listen and find unexpected ways to say “I love you”–and surprising ways we might be undermining the message.

Mentioned in this episode:
A sermon from John Piper
Child sponsorship

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PU 035: No Shortcuts (Laying the Foundation #2)

This episode is the second in a series called “Laying the Foundation,” an update on the introductory episodes of Poverty Unlocked.

“’I just brought you the kingdom of God, and it’s a size 7 pair of shoes. But don’t thank me! Thank God…’ Does that strike anybody else as a pretty shallow kingdom?”

There is a difference between converts and disciples. Missional living is connected to wholistic ministry, but we need to make one step beyond living missionally. We discuss handing out food and shoes, and how to share Christ without undermining our message.

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PU 032: The Birth of Poverty (Laying the Foundation #1)

This episode is the first in a series called “Laying the Foundation,” an update on the introductory episodes of Poverty Unlocked.

Poverty started in Genesis. It was solved by the Christ’s work on our behalf. Because of Christ’s work, poverty can be overcome today, and it will be completely solved when God brings about a new heaven and earth. Understanding the Biblical story of poverty helps us to understand how Christians should respond to injustice and worldwide needs.

Read Walking with the Poor by Bryant Myers to learn more about these foundational concepts.

Contact Wendy to request the new Poverty Unlocked 4-week curriculum for small groups and Sunday School classes.

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PU 027: Don’t Miss Christmas

Isaiah prophesied of a Messiah who would rescue the poor. At Christmas, we celebrate this Messiah… or do we?

Scripture references in this episode

  • Isaiah 9
  • Psalm 23
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Isaiah 11:1-5
  • Luke 4:16-21

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PU 025: Raising Children with God’s Heart for the Poor

Ideas for getting past selfishness and self-absorption with our children.

God wants His people to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with (their) God.” (Micah 6:8) These principles are the opposite of our culture’s reality, where value is placed on possessions and exalting oneself. This episode offers principles and practical ideas for training up children with God’s heart for the poor.

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PU 018: The Whole Truth, The Whole Gospel with Amy Sherman

Dr. Amy Sherman shares “The Whole Truth, The Whole Gospel: Holistic Ministry in Your Community.” Recorded at Making All Things New 2007.

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PU 017: New Year’s Resolutions

Three New Year’s resolutions that will change the world – really.

Incorporate the end of world poverty into your list of New Year’s resolutions. Today’s broadcast covers three New Year’s resolutions you can make that will change the world.

  1. Get involved with one family in poverty around you. (Proverbs 19:17)
  2. Get to know God by defending the cause of the poor and needy.  (Jeremiah 22:13-16)
  3. Advocate for the poor.  (Proverbs 31:8, 9)

Millennium Development Goals
How to keep your New Year’s resolutions

  1. Make a declaration on paper
  2. Set a deadline
  3. Ask someone to keep you accountable

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PU 012: How to Secure God’s Blessing

In Isaiah 58, God promises to bless and guide those who serve the poor.

  • Sins of commission vs. sins of omission
  • Personal blessings and community blessings
  • Answered prayer and guidance
  • The spiritual discipline of fasting

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PU 010: Insights from a Short-term Team

An interview with Josh Kienzle on lessons learned from colonialism and taking the posture of a cross-cultural learner.

Josh shares the location and characteristics of Mozambique, with special attention to the community of Mucodza, Mozambique.

Who is the main character of a short-term mission trip? It should be God, not the team. (Mark 10)

God is rewriting the history of Mozambique and the text of our lives. (2 Sam 22:21-25)

Social problems due to colonialism, and social problems due to sin (Romans 12:21)

Short-term teams to Mozambique and other countries

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PU 009: Learning from the Life of Christ

Five ways we can learn from Jesus’ posture in caring for the poor.

  1. Walking with God – Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:18; 22:39
  2. Identifying with People – John 1:14; Philippians 2:5-11
  3. Humility – Matthew 11:29
  4. Loving people and appreciating culture – John 4:4-26
  5. Serving in the periphery, advocating in the center

Get your church involved on this journey with Food for the Hungry!

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This episode, “Learning from the Life of Christ,” is the final episode in the Theology of Poverty series. So what’s next? Listen to the most recent episode, or check out our four-week curriculum for groups.

PU 008: Dependency

Today we look at how we can minister to the poor without taking over their lives, their communities, and their goals. There is a line between healthy reliance on other people (Galatians 6:2) and unhealthy dependency. Handouts send messages beyond the goal of charity. Playing God in the lives of the poor leads to a misunderstanding of who God really is.

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Ready for the next episode in the Theology of Poverty series? Go to the menu here.

Today we look at how we can minister to the poor without taking over their lives, their communities, and their goals.

The line between healthy reliance on other people (Galatians 6:2) and unhealthy dependency

Handouts send messages

Playing God in the lives of the poor

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PU 007: Made in the Image of God

The poor are image-bearers of God, but well-meaning Christians sometimes send a different message.

Scripture tells us that God made all people, rich and poor (Prov. 22:2). We also know from Scripture that all people were created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26, 27). More than a nice idea, this truth should impact our interactions with the poor. By virtue of being image-bearers of God, the poor are:

  • innately valuable
  • creative
  • relational
  • capable of loving
  • capable of responsibility for themselves
  • charged with dominion

Christians are responsible for communicating these truths to the poor. This episode explores how we do—and don’t—fulfill this responsibility.

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Ready for the next episode in the Theology of Poverty series? Go to the menu here.

PU 006: Why People Stay Poor

Why is it so hard for people to pull themselves out of poverty? In this episode we consider how people change and what keeps them from changing. Conclusions are drawn for charitable giving.

The change process:

  • Life experience, followed by…
  • Reflection, followed by…
  • Decision, followed by…
  • Action, followed by a new life experience.

Obstacles to change:

  1. Lack of knowledge
  2. Lack of resources
  3. Human sinfulness
  4. Satanic deception
  5. Lack of supportive people
  6. Presence of opposition

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Ready for the next episode in the Theology of Poverty series? Go to the menu here.