Everyone needs help at one time or another so what are 7 of the top Bible verses about helping others in need.
Visiting the Orphans and Widows
James 1:27 “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
There may not be a greater verse in all the Bible than this one that defines for us what pure religion is. James is basically saying that this is the essence of what religion is all about. It is not just about religion but about a relationship and a relationship with the widows and orphans. We read throughout the Bible that God is the defender of the orphans and widows like in Psalms 68:5 that He is a “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” It’s not only visiting them when they’re lonely but about visiting them “in their affliction.” Their affliction might be the loss of the widow’s husband and the children’s father. Jesus loves the children and He knows that love is a verb…it is what you do so what you do is show the widows and the orphans what love is by your actions. Love is helping them where they need it (food, clothing, lawn mowing, etc.) and we can be a father to them who have no father and a helpmate to those widows who have lost theirs.
Sharing Pleases God
Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
The converse of this is true; if we fail to do good and do not share what we have we are neglecting others. Sharing what you have are the types of personal sacrifices that are pleasing to God. When the Scriptures talk about pleasing God then we know it must be important. This was part of the reason that the early church grew so rapidly as we read in Acts 2:44-45 “All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” What we have been blessed with by God we should be a blessing to for others.
A Brother in Need
First John 3:17 “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?”
Many talk the talk but few it seems walk the walk and if you see your brother or sister in need and yet close your ears to them, how in the world can you say that the love of God abides in you? It’s not possible because the love of God should compel us to help one another. If you have a roof over your head, a refrigerator full or even half full of food, you have a job, heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer; you have the world’s goods. How can we not share what God has entrusted to us? We are stewards and God will hold us all accountable on the day of His visitation.
Looking on the Interests of Others
Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
The interests of others ought to be our interests too. Certainly we look out for ourselves but how can we turn a blind eye when others have needs. There is a certain genius in generosity because God gives back what we let pass through our hands but if we hold tight with clinched fists what we have, God cannot pour more into hands that are already clinging tightly to what they hold.
Doing for Others is Doing for Christ
Matthew 25:35-40 “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”
I was handing out Bible tracts once on a hot summer day and this man I gave one to was a self-professing atheist but you know what he did? He asked me to come into his house and cool off then he brought me a cold bottle of water. I then told him that you actually did this for Jesus. He thought, “What? What do you mean?” Then I repeated these verses to him and he was amazed at how Jesus looks at what we do for others as doing it to Him. I think I made this man think. I hope it sunk deep into his conscience. Maybe I’ll see him in the kingdom. When you visit the sick, when you visit those in prison or write letters to them, when you give clothing to the poor, and when you give someone a drink…like this man did to me, you actually do it to Christ.
A Faith Without Works is no Faith at All
James 2:14-17 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
I have heard people respond to requests for help by saying, “I am so sorry…I will pray for you.” That may be less a promise of prayer than it is a cop out. It’s easier to say “Go in peace, be warmed and filled” and “I’ll pray for you” than to actually help them. Talk is cheap and if you have no works then your faith may not be genuine. We are not saved by works but a saving faith works!
Lending to the Lord?
Proverbs 19:17 “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
This is like the verse where Jesus said if you help someone else, you are helping Him because if someone is generous to the poor, they are in a sense, lending to the Lord. The Lord promises to “repay [them] for [their] deed” so this is a win-win situation. Help someone in need and the Lord Himself will repay you and remember, He’s got all the resources of the universe at His fingertips.
If you want to help others, tell someone you know that isn’t yet saved that they need to repent and be saved. The most generous thing we can do is risk being hated, despised, persecuted, and thought of as narrow minded by telling them that they face the wrath of God unless they repent of their sins, confess them to God and then put their trust in Christ. That is the most loving thing that you could ever do for someone. There is nothing in this life which could help someone than share the gospel with them in the hopes that they might be saved. The gift of grace and eternal life is the greatest gift there is. Why not share it. It’s too priceless to keep to yourself, isn’t it?
Another Reading on Patheos to Check Out: What Did Jesus Really Look Like: A Look at the Bible Facts
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Blind Chance or Intelligent Design available on Amazon