Derek Prince - He Who Has Pity On The Poor Loans To The Lord
This is an excerpt from: Orphans, Widows, The Poor And Oppressed
Let me just take a few more moments... James chapter 1 verse 27. James 1:27. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father... Let me say just two things. There's salvation, there's religion. Salvation is what God does for us. Religion is what God requires from us in return. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world. It hasn't changed, you see. It's exactly the same as it was with Job "to care for the orphans and the widows, to keep himself unspotted from the world".
Now, as a good Pentecostal, and I've been Pentecostal longer than some of you have been born... I've heard many sermons on keeping ourselves unspotted from the world. Isn't that right? It's a major theme. You know I've never heard one sermon on taking care of widows and orphans, never one, never one, except the ones I've preached. Is there not a tremendous gap between our concept of righteousness, and what the Bible says? And what the Bible says is so simple, so down to earth. You can't misunderstand it. There's no room for some complicated theological explanation. Now let me... oh I must read James 4:17 too. You know James was typically Jewish. He was very down to earth. He wasn't impressed by complicated religion, and he says in James 4:17: Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is [what?] sin.
So you understand that we can be condemned, not for the things we've done that were wrong, but for the things that were good that we didn't do. "To him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin". See, I'm really putting a lot of responsibility on you people here tonight, because you're going to walk out of here knowing what is good, then you've got to decide, "Will I do it"? You can no longer plead ignorance. Personally I believe the nations of the West the United States, Britain, Europe, etc. Will primarily be judged by God, not for what we've done but for what we haven't done. We're wealthy, we're prosperous, we have abundance, we don't know what to do with all we have, and at least one billion people are without sufficient food today. I almost shudder when I hear Americans say, or British, "I'm losing weight".
Brothers and sisters, there's a lot of people who couldn't put weight on if they wanted to! Surely there must be some better way of adjusting things than we overeat and millions starve. I cannot believe that it's the will of God. I mean, I'm too clear in my thinking. It is impossible that that's what God wants. You don't have to agree with me. Now I want a few general promises about caring for the poor. In Proverbs 19 and verse 17, Proverbs 19:17: He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He [the Lord] will pay back what he has given. So when you have pity on the poor financially, you're making a loan to the Lord, and the Lord always repays what He borrows.
So I think I'd have to say God has prospered me partly for that reason. I didn't do it for that motive, but when I look back on my life I have to say, God has repaid me what I gave. And He's done more than that. He's overpaid, and I'm not one who preaches prosperity's the ultimate purpose of God. It isn't. Actually the word prosperity is misunderstood in contemporary America. It doesn't mean adding a lot of abundance. It means being successful. Paul prayed for a prosperous journey to Rome and he got what he prayed for, but he didn't travel first class in a steamer. He traveled as a prisoner, under guard, in chains, and he had a fourteen day storm in the middle of the sea. But it was a prosperous journey, because it accomplished the will of God, you see. This is simply a mistake in English. The word prosperity has changed its meaning.
In modern America it means abundance, wealth, that sort of thing. But in the Bible and in the Scriptures it means successful. God said to Joshua, "If you listen to what I say and do it, you'll make your way prosperous. You'll have good success". He didn't travel in an air-conditioned coach. He was a soldier making war, sleeping in the fields. It was a tough life, but he was prosperous because he succeeded. If you would just translate prosperity into success you'd get a much clearer picture of what God really said. I don't believe it's God's will for any of us to fail. I believe it's God's will for all of us to prosper and be successful in what God calls us to do. I don't believe it's God's will for all of us to drive a Cadillac... Mind you I do drive a Mercedes myself. But on the other hand, it's twenty years old. All right. Let's not go on with that.