Giving to Those with Less: Assembling Bags for the Homeless

The Bible is very clear, the poor will always be among us. Refer to Deuteronomy 15:11, Matthew 26:11, or John 12:8. Throughout history, there is no time when there were not poor people living among the rich. Facing this truth is difficult, but what’s even more difficult for some is to give of their time, talents, or resources to someone else.

Unfortunately, because of the many lies our modern world throws at us, our relationship with those who are less fortunate to us has been compromised. Instead of turning to the Bible for truth, too many of us let what’s happening around us dictate our feelings. Satan is at work in every realm and he’s done a devastatingly great job at widening the gap between the wealthy and the poor.

Societal Lies and Scriptural Truth about the Poor

Lie: Poor people are lazy and don’t want to work. Oh, this bothers me. We are so far removed from the lower class, that we’re blind to those who work longer hours than us, multiple jobs, running on little sleep.
Truth: 1 Samuel 2:7-8 The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.

Lie: Poor people aren’t trying hard enough.
Truth: Isaiah 1:17 Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

Lie: Poor people are addicted to alcohol or drugs. 
Truth: Romans 15:1-2 We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

Lie: The government should take care of the poor. 
Truth: Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,  a stronghold in times of trouble. 
Truth: Proverbs 28:27 He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.
Truth: Deuteronomy 15:11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.
  
Earlier this year I shared some practical ways to give to those in need. Whether you live in a big city or a small town, there are ways to connect with the poor. Don’t have money to give? If you feel like you can’t serve because you’re not in a place to do so financially, then you’re missing the point. Volunteer your time, use the talents God gave you to bless others. We all have something to give all of the time, no matter where we are financially.

Assembling Blessing Bags

If you live in a relatively large town, you likely see homeless or needy people on the side of the road or on the streets. Assembling bags to keep in your car is an easy and inexpensive way to give to someone in need. Warning: If they don’t accept it, you can simply say, “God bless,” and walk away. Do not let one experience taint your views on the needy, some of them do not want help from others.

Food

Most of the needy or homeless people we see on the streets are malnourished, and while soup kitchens are great, oftentimes the people being served there are not given nutritionally-dense food. Let’s strive to give the healthiest food we can.

Proteins: Nut butter packets, tuna kits, beef jerky
Fruits: fruit cup, if you know you’ll be sharing your bags soon, put some fresh fruit in there
Carbs: Crackers, granola bars
Drinks: bottled water, 100% juice boxes, single serving electrolyte packets (for dehydration)

Hygiene

Travel size toothbrush and toothpaste, “hotel” size shampoo, comb, lip balm, bar of soap, deodorant

Encouragement

Seek out the non-profits or  churches in your area and see if they have a resource booklet you can put in your bag. We, our Community Service Ministry, has put together a booklet of resources throughout the county for food, housing, medical help, abuse refuges.

Purchase or ask your church if they’ll donate mini Bibles for your project.

Seek out encouraging Scripture to put in your bag or write them an encouraging note.

Other Gifts to Consider

Hand warmer, mittens, small toy, puzzle/crossword books, candy

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