Meditation for 07/23/2019
“If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest. If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it to him by sunset, because his cloak is he only covering he has for his body, What else will he sleep in? When he cries out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.” (Exodus22:25-27)
The people of God (that’s you and I) are to show compassion toward those who find it necessary to borrow money. Nothing is to be taken and kept as collateral that the person needs for his or her well-being.
God is compassionate and hears the cries of he needy. He expects us to be just as compassionate. We should alleviate poverty, not cause it. Maybe we aren’t in a position to help someone, but we know who might be. It is then our responsibility to take them to that person on their behalf, to seek help for them.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Abba, many times we pray to you, that You might put people in our pathway, that we might share with them the Good News in Christ. So, when you do so, help us not to look away; rather, let us reach out to them, that we might be of help to them and then to tell them that it was God who put them in our path, so all praise goes to You and not to ourselves. Let our words be Your words and our actions Your actions. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“God’s ability is not hindered by our inability.”
“The Lord enters into judgment against the elders and leaders of his people: ‘It is you who have ruined my vineyard; the plunder from the poor is in your houses. What do you mean by crushing my people and grinding the faces of he poor? Declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.’” (Isaiah3:14-15)
The people of God have been guilty of injustice and cruelty many times in their treatment of the poor. God confronts leaders of His people with their guilt and pronounces His judgment against them. The people of God today are not free from such guilt. We need to hear God’s judgment on our behavior. The pulpits of today should allow no one to feel comfortable in their mistreatment of the poor. Christian disciples need to be challenged to provide loving care that is appropriate for followers of Christ.
Discipleship, Poor: (Jeremiah22:15-17)
To know the Lord is to defend the poor and needy and treat them justly. God’s blessing rests upon those whose lives are characterized by such service. People today need the power and the blessing that come from knowing the Lord. To know God means to love Him supremely. That means to serve need people with loving concern at all times. A few years ago I was volunteering in a church, that served food for the homeless. There was a man that came regularly and he said, “I sure would love some friend chicken!” I told him, “All we have is spaghetti and meatballs.” His response touched my heart, because he said, “Well, I’m going to eat it, but I sure would love some fried chicken!” The next time I was headed to the church to help feed and I was pretty early and I stopped and picked up a three piece fried chicken dinner with all the trimmings. When I arrived at the church and parked my car, I saw him and waved to him to come over. He did and I gave him the meal. He teared up and said, “Thank you, man, I love you.” And I said ,“Your welcome, enjoy. Love you back.” Then, I watched him go over and get two of his friends and shared that meal with them! I stood there, crying as I saw true discipleship in the man who could have gone off to eat his meal by himself, but chose to do the Christian thing and shared it with his buddies.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you l ask,’ he said. ‘God, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” (Mark 10:21)
This comes from the story of the rich man who asked Jesus, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus realized immediately his idolatry of his possessions and revealed to him the obstacle God would have him overcome. Christ loved the man but confronted him with God’s will for single devotion to God. Disciples who commit their wealth to meet the needs of poor people will have riches in heaven. This level of commitment removes wealth as an obstacle to receiving God’s eternal blessings.
Those “disciples” who make worldly wealth their treasure need not expect heavenly reward. They are not following Christ, but the world. Just like the example of the rich man who had to remove his obstacle, we too must be willing to remove whatever it is in our own lives, that keeps us from totally following Christ.