Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. (Deuteronomy 15:10)
Give generously to them. How very hard this is for many of us to do. There always seems to be someone asking for something. It might be out children, our spouses, our churches, community charities, national societies or political parties. There are frequent requests from the heart association, breast cancer foundation, humane societies and animal shelters, sheriff’s office, and a multitude of very worthy charities.
But times are tough for many of us and, unfortunately, we have to pick our favorite few to help support. For some, this is a time that it may be a burden to choose even a few. And how do we give when we have little to do so with? We give not of our wealth, but rather of our poverty.
This is the way Jesus gave. He was not a man of wealth. Jesus was a man with a very simple lifestyle and little material goods. Yet, Jesus gave. He gave food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, healing to the afflicted and hope to the hopeless.
The attitude of the Israelites toward the poor in their community was to be one of warmth and generosity. The poor were given whatever was necessary to meet their needs, even with the realization that such ‘loans’ would never have to be paid back.
Realistically, we, like the Israelites, are told to willingly give the poor sufficient to meet their needs. We do this through our churches, our checkbooks, our time and our talents. We are called upon to play upon whatever our strong suit is. It may be actual cash, it may be visiting the sick and shut-in, it may be serving food at a local soup kitchen, it may be teaching a few poor children to play golf, or it may be simply being there and listening for someone who needs us.
Whatever our gifts, Lord, help us to give freely. Help us to meet the needs of the poor and provide what is sufficient for them. May we, like our gracious Savior, give what little we have willingly and never expect repayment or return. As the Israelites of old and the disciples of the New Testament, help us to learn that the greatest joy comes from giving.
References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.
Columbia Prayer Chain: Tuesday, January 1
In our prayers: Gary Davis, Eddie Bolton, Myrna, Esther, Pam James, Becca, Doug and Sharon, Shandra Dickenson, John Kelchner, Jeannie, Elizabeth Matthews, Nedrick Griffin, Jennifer Handy, Nancy Stuckey, Annemarie Sullivan, Rachel and Randy Wurtzbaugh, Patty Peckham, Denise Byrd, Caralynn, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry, Betty Jo Sullivan, Mary Francis Harris, Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Joe Reno, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Charles Davis Sr., Elaine and Sharon, Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Fred and Gail, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
In memoriam: Pamela Odum McGauley Bond, Dorothy Elliott Tart, Colie Gulledge, Linda Hodge Hawkins, Sandra Burgess, Wilhelmina Taylor Mills Antley, Corine Hill, Roger R. Spradley
Our prayers are with: the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily.