‘Time in the Word’ By Clayton Adams

Jesus said, “For you always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me” (John 12:8). Jesus was not speaking against those in poverty, He was merely stating to Judas the fact that He, Jesus, would not always be with them in physical form and that the poor would always be present. But, what can be done about poverty?

What makes a person poor? Money, lack of opportunity, decisions made and actions carried out? One can have a poor attitude, poor-health, a poor outlook on life, a poor disposition or one can just have a poor bank account.

When President Roosevelt signed the social security act into law in 1935, he opened the floodgates for welfare and allowed congress access to our money. Legislators of every party and every president have spent our money like drunken sailors (no offense to Navy personnel intended) and there is no end to their malfeasance.

The “War on Poverty” was announced by President Lyndon Johnson in January of 1964. According to Michael Tanner, (8 January 2014) “In 2012, the federal government spent $668 billion to fund 126 separate anti-poverty programs. State and local governments kicked in another $284 billion, bringing total anti-poverty spending to nearly $1 trillion. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three… Over, the last 50 years, the government spent more than $16 trillion to fight poverty.” I submit we have lost the war on poverty.

Our government should not be handing out money, phones, free health care, rent, free tuition, childcare, gas vouchers, food stamps and the myriad of other benefits that it does. Because our government hands out all of these benefits many people do not work because their “needs” and many of their wants are already given to them.

Ending the War on Poverty leads to questions and responsibilities. What should be the role of the government, churches and individuals?

Churches have a mandate from Jesus to be His hands and feet extended to people. I believe a majority of churches have become things other than what Christ commanded churches to be.

Jesus fed the hungry, healed the sick, comforted the lonely and encouraged the downtrodden. Jesus went to the down and outers, the sinners, those that culture rejected. Jesus is the blue print for the Church to follow. It isn't What Would Jesus Do, it's What Did Jesus Do!

Churches should always be reaching out to those who have needs, always sharing the Gospel of salvation. Unfortunately, most churches have programs that benefit those already saved or are already a part of the church.

Small churches can be much more effective than large churches. It isn't about the size of a church. It is about the commitment of a church to fulfilling the commands and examples Jesus gave to us.

Individual Christians have the greatest of responsibilities. Jesus summed up the Old Testament to two simple laws; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all you soul, and with all your mind… You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-40) Of the ministries listed for the churches how many do you as an individual participate in? You don't need a church to minister – you are the minister! The apostle Peter wrote to Christians, “… You are a royal priesthood…” (1 Peter 2:9).

Love is more than a feeling. Love is an action. One can claim to be a Christian but with what action can one prove their claim? James challenges every Christian with his statements, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself…You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone…For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead” (James 2:17-26).

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me. These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:45-46). What proof do you have that you are a Clayton Adams has a message of faith he would like to share with the community. He would also like to hear from you. E- mail him a t claytonpadamslll@ gmail. c om.