Invite The Poor By Name

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"If there is a poor man with you, one of your brothers, in any of your towns in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand from your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and shall generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks." (Deuteronomy 15:7-8).

Proverbs 21:13 does not include the lazy, those who made foolish decisions and those who have committed sins against God that resulted in having no financial resource. The poor are men, women and children who need our help to sustain them in time of great need to provide shelter, clothing, food and even financial assistance to help them reach a point where continued assistance is not necessary.

An individual or family can become poor due to being laid off from work, an act of nature like a hurricane, having a developmental disability or even been taken advantage of by mean and evil people. The poor can be a divorced mother, a sick child or a man who is just simply unable to physically do work. The poor are not hard to find. Some are in our own families. Some are in the communities in which we live. Some are attending the same churches and schools. They are all over within a 50 mile radius of where we live.

Proverbs 21 - Teaches us today?

Proverbs 21:13 "(13) He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be answered."

Psalm 63:6-8 (Theme: Thirsty For God). "(6) When I remember Thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches, (7) For Thou hast been my help, And in the shadow of Thy wings I sing for joy. (8) My soul clings to Thee; Thy right hand upholds me."

Today's question. Do you know poor people by name?

"When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return, and repayment come to you. But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." (Luke 14:12-14).

It is difficult to invite people to anything if you do not know their names. So what is God teaching us when He says that we should not shut our ears to the cry of the poor? He is charging us to get out of our comfort zone and go meet the poor. We treat the concept of poor as being an abstract term. We expect that by writing an occasional check and mailing it to someone or dropping it in a collection plate that we have fulfilled our responsibility in this area.

God is calling all of His Christian children to do more. He is calling us to get out and meet the poor. Learn their stories. Understand their needs and use our contacts and resources to help them.

When you get to heaven and Jesus ask; ‘why you did not help your neighbor'? You do not want your answer to be either of the following two responses. ‘I did not know him/her, or I thought someone else was taking care of that'.

Dear God, every poor person has a name, some of these names are written in the Book of Life and they are our sisters and brothers. Help us to learn their names and with the help of the Holy Spirit respond to their needs. Amen.

The Newness Of Life Daily Bible Message is designed for those who like to take a short respite from the day's responsibilities to enjoy the contemplation of God's word. This daily message is based primarily upon the belief that to read some of Proverbs and some of Psalm everyday will provide us with great spiritual growth and development when done consistently with discipline.  Phillip Saxton and contibute to Newness Of Life Ministries (NOL) Phillip Saxton, www.NewnessOfLife.com. Phillip can be reached at saxton AT MiTowne dot com

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