“If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him?”
(1 John 3:17 HCSB)

There is a lot about the Scriptures that is opaque, mysterious, and difficult to understand.  One thing that is not difficult to understand is the repeated scriptural admonition to help the poor and needy.  It is a common theme that runs through the Old and New Testament alike, virtues of both the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.

Here John puts it in the form of helping our brothers (in Christ).  Is a brother or sister in need in the body of Christ?  Surely that is an opportunity to help her/him.  Indeed, we can even call it a test of where our hearts are.  Give something to alleviate the need and God’s love resides in you, give nothing and “how can God’s love reside in” you?

Aiding the poor and needy is a true test of our heart.

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