Today I read in James 1 v 27
Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for the widows in their troubles and refuse to let the world corrupt us.
Many times in God’s word it is written that God is interested in his people looking after the poor and needy in our midst. One can’t say they have faith if he doesn’t show it by his actions. We can’t say God bless you to someone in need without giving them food if they are hungry or clothing if they have no covering.
We Christians can be busy fighting over doctrine and our differences. We can be so busy disagreeing that we become ineffective in living the way God wants us to.
““Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar? Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him. He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 22 v 16
Jeremiah rebuked Jehoiakim for living in affluence. This son of Josiah would have seen how his father repented and brought revival to the people of Israel by teaching them the ways of God. Josiah looked after the poor and needy. He was not busy acquiring wealth but he was seeking to please God first. But the son disregarded how his father lived. Judgement came on the son.
Looking after the poor and needy can save your life.
“Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the LORD delivers them in times of trouble.
The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.”
Psalm 41:1, 3 NIV
We had a friend who was kind to the poor in the town in which we lived. He was in distress when his father was dying of cancer. He could not face life without his father. He took poison to kill himself. Some of his friends prayed for him and he was completely healed with no side effects and was restored to life.
Today think about how you can be kind to someone in need. Don’t avoid the poor you come across.
My husband brought me to the accident and emergency department in my local hospital when I told him I was bleeding.
This is now four years ago.
I was examined there by a doctor from Kerela in India.
He asked my husband and daughter to come into the cubicle to talk to us all about the examination.
My daughter is a doctor herself and was very nervous about what he was about to say.
She feared the worst.
I was numb and was willing to go through the process the doctor advised.
Instead of talking about my condition the doctor addressed my husband and said,
“Don’t I know you?”
“No I don’t think we have met before.”
“Are you the man with the big family?”
“Yes I have a big family.”
Mary and I were perplexed. “Why is he not getting on with talking about how he can help me?”
“Ah I know where I have seen you before. My mother has a book written by you. There is a picture of you and your family on the back page. That book is in my mother’s home, back in Kerala, India.”
My husband has written two books for a lady in India. Her work reaches out to the poor.
Brendan and I looked at each other.
We knew God was with us in that hospital cubicle.
In our time of distress a doctor remembered Brendan.
That book has helped raise money for orphanages and poor people in India.
The doctor, a stranger remembered Brendan. God remembered too.
He was reassuring us he was with us.
Psalm 41 says
Blessed is he who has regard for the poor and needy. I will be with him in trouble. The Lord will raise him up from his sick bed. V 1 and 3
We were in trouble and I was on a sick bed.
We all smiled despite our present dilemma.
The doctor proceeded to tell us that he found a mass of tissue inside my back passage when he examined me.
My daughter quizzed him to get more information.
He answered, “It is a firm mass.” My daughter knew it can only be cancer. She did not voice what she thought.
“I will make an appointment to get a colonoscopy. I will ask for you to be seen as soon as possible.”
We thanked the doctor and walked out of that cubicle, silent, anxious but comforted that God was with us in our trouble.
We would face the future together.
Four months later I knew I was healed from cancer.
God is faithful.
Another Monday morning and you have to get out to work, or clean up after the weekend when you tried to recharge your batteries but never quite got the required boost. The treadmill keeps on turning and you wish someday you can step off.
Well let today be a new start. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for God and not for men. Since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord which is your reward. It is the Lord you are serving. And be thankful.” Colossians 3 v 15 and 23 to 24
So whatever work you do, from the company manager, the home manager, creator, student or voluntary worker you are going to get an inheritance from the Lord. Each day counts in building up that inheritance. It cannot be stolen from you. It will not decay. If you change jobs or find yourself unemployed and help someone without payment, or are a mother at home with children you are still building up an inheritance with God. There is no devaluing in God’s bank; you can still invest, even in the recession.
Do you believe me? Try it. Start being thankful to God for all things, even the difficult things. You will begin to think differently and the atmosphere around you will change. Goodness and mercy will follow you.
God is no respecter of persons. From the king to the poor man, no matter what nationality you are, God created you and he loves you. He rewards those who diligently seek him. God’s plans are for you to prosper and give you a hope and a future.