Monday, August 22, 2011
HELPING THE POOR
Yesterdays' devotion was primarily dealing with people who choose to not work and suck off the government 'baby bottle' as I call it. Not to be misunderstood there are those people who truly are poor and need our help. God commands us to help if we are able. How selfish to see someone who has a need and we are able to meet it but are too attached to our stuff or our money to part with it to help a person truly in need. Job layoffs, sicknesses, unexpected single parenthood, recent Alabama tornado victims who had no insurance and a host of other reasons could cause someone to be in dire straits and not be able to meet their bills one month. Sometimes we may have been irresponsible with the money God did bless us with and end up in some situation too. But never the less Psalm 41:1 says "Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor! The LORD rescues them when they are in trouble." Psalm 82:3 says "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." Verse four of that same chapter goes on to say "Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." People will try to take advantage of the poor many ways. One way I see is through the lottery to make them feel they can 'win it all' and escape.
Proverbs 14:21 says "He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy." Now we have those men and women we see with the cardboard signs at exit ramps and on street corners. Many believe these people to be phonies posing as poor and out of work to take advantage of the gullible. There are those though who are not begging on a corner but who are walking picking up cans maybe to try to pay for their electricity or some food. If you have given money to a street corner beggar, who if he gets only $10 in one hour makes more than most people, and if your heart said it was OK, then if this person has lied by portraying a poor person then God will deal with him. If you felt you were doing right good for you. God knows our hearts.
The government would like to enable poor people to stay poor. If they keep giving handouts, free cell phones, and all the rest many times a person is not motivated to want to better themselves and the cycle of poverty continues. Our government debt is due in part to too many handouts to many people who are able to earn a living but choose to not do so. Many simply feel the government owes them something. Third world nations have leaders who have oppressed the people and taken away their freedoms. These people have no opportunity and learn to depend on handouts .In America we know better but some have taken the road to let 'Uncle Sam' provide their needs.
1 John 3:17 says "If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?" Like I said there are truly needy people out there. If God has blessed us we should help them. The government does not need to 'redistribute our wealth' as it is not 'American' for us to have government confiscate our money but we should be able to share a little with charities to help the unfortunate. After all God has given the power to get wealth and it all belongs to Him anyway. Deuteronomy 15:7 says "If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother."
In the United States the poor,I believe, can receive free health care already. They can not be turned away. There are free clinics in many communities. Doctors are not cruel people but are here to heal and help. We are indeed a blessed nation even with the seeming problems we have .
And do not poke fun at poor people either. Some may do that to what they may see as 'hillbillies' or 'rednecks'. Proverbs 17:5 says "Those who mock the poor insult their Maker; those who rejoice at the misfortune of others will be punished." Proverbs 21:13 tells us "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered."
There you have it. The poor will always be with us.(See Matthew 26:11) We reap what we sow it says in Galatians 6:7. Be kind to others as you never know when you might be on the receiving end. Help your friends if they are in need but reach out to strangers too. If you are blessed financially be thankful because money can make itself wings and fly away. (Proverbs 23:5).
PRAYER: Father hear our prayer. We thank you for the blessings you have given us. Many around us are not so fortunate. Probably all of us know someone who has lost a job at one time or could not pay their bills. Give us generous spirits to help someone who crosses our path who has a true need. Open our hearts to show your love and mercy Lord. In Jesus name. Amen.