Once we understand the definition of true riches, we will see that helping the poor really is about eternal relief rather than merely temporal. Yes, justice and mercy must be sought today, and we must work for relief and freedom of those who are destitute and oppressed. Yet, how do we go about this?
If we glean from the way Jesus helped the poor, we can understand God's model of helping the poor.
Because true riches exist in heaven where God lives, we must demonstrate this to the poor by the what we prize and how.
Jesus was, is, and always will be God. He had the power to rain down gold and money from heaven. He had the power to miraculous robe people with fine clothing and build luxurious houses for the poor. Yet, did Jesus do these things? How did he bring relief to the poor?
Jesus became poor himself. He lost not only heaven but all earthly possessions. He left home and family and a career. He wandered about relying on the generosity of others even when he could make a few loaves of bread into thousands. Why did he do this?
Jesus proves to us by his life and what he gave up that there are treasures in heaven and by it we become rich. It's not what earth provides that makes us rich, but God himself. To have God is everything, and so Jesus shows us that a rich life is possible without all the things that the world values.
For us to show true riches to the poor in a way they can believe that it is true, we must be willing to shed all of our worldly riches and become the poor. Not that God necessarily requires us to become financially poor, but that we would be willing in our hearts to follow him. If God became poor so that we would become rich, it should follow that as his followers and worshippers, we too would embrace his likeness.
But where do our treasures lay?