Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4 NIV
One of my hobbies is finding thrift stores that offer a wide-range of discarded pre-owned items that are in excellent condition; the items that were purchased on impulse; the items that now hold no value to their previous owners. Even so, it is those very items that are offered a second chance when they are whisked away by a purchaser who has a definite purpose in mind for their rebirth.
When we resided in Florida we discovered an upscale boutique resale shop–wow thats a mouthful—that we would visit because of the uniqueness of the shop; over half of the items were brand new with their original store tags.
Recently we visited our grandchildren who were in Florida for the summer, and decided to introduce them to thrift store diving as an alternate way to shop. The GPS directed us through the affluent residential area with expansive houses and breathtaking landscapes. At this point, our granddaughter began to comment on the beautiful neighborhood especially the various architectural excellence of the homes and the foliage. Then I heard the words that a parent or grandparent would never want to hear, with disappointment she stated, “If people live like this, then we are poor.”
The reality of the disparity of life between the rich and the poor should have a devastating impact on us. In fact, we should never pretend that poverty is nonexistent, even Jesus acknowledged that “the poor will always be among us.” Matthew 11:26
My prayer prior to seeing our grandchildren this summer was that we would be able to reintroduce them to the godly standards that we taught them many years ago when they lived with us. God is always faithful in answering our heartfelt prayers, especially regarding the plan of salvation and our desire to witness to others. We were able to teach the core values of God’s love, prayer, family worship, making beds, keeping your bodies and the environment clean, and taking care of others especially the needy. We honored the Sabbath together by having worship at Friday sunset and the cessation of secular activities such as watching television or playing with electronic devices for 24 hours, and on Saturday-Sabbath we attended church together as a family.
If you are wondering about my response to our granddaughter’s statement, I can assure you that she is now aware of our duty to help others from a spiritual and social aspect. In addition, she has the knowledge of thanking God for the daily provision of food, clothing, and shelter. By her own admission, she has never been without the opportunity to eat, have clothing or shoes to wear, or a bed to sleep in. I am also grateful that God allowed us to develop a strong bond with our three grandchildren during our vacation with them.
Our lives must include the core value of serving others. We are never too poor to give of our time in helping those in need. Jesus’ compassion extended to multitudes as evidenced by the healing of many who were sick, feeding those who were hungry physically (prior to addressing their spiritual needs), raising the dead and the casting out of demons.
Are you overly concerned about your own needs or desires? If yes, then make it your goal to follow Christ’s example and live to serve. It is a wonderful opportunity for God to bless you with spiritual insight and spiritual growth. The blessings that come from helping those in need will eradicate selfishness, self-centeredness, greed, and carelessness. We cannot become all that God desires for us to be with clenched hands and a dispassionate spirit.
The Christian walk down the Path of Salvation is a solitary effort. When we love God we do not set boundaries on the alleviation of suffering. Let us make the commitment to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and help each person that has genuine need until He comes again.
Bible Reading: The Beatitudes, Matthew 5:1-12
Prayer for today: Dear God, Thank you for your grace, your mercy, and the provision of our needs. As we reach out to others, please help us to become full of the same love, compassion, and sacrificial giving that you possess. Thank you for the ultimate sacrifice of your life that we may have eternal life. We repent for the selfish spirit that has prevented us from helping others. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer. We ask this prayer in the worthy name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019