We are in difficult times, yet many continue to live lavish lifestyles while others are homeless and hungry. The great divide between “those who have and those who have not” continues to grow.
Black Friday (2020) hit a new record with consumers spending $9.0 billion, an increase of 21.6% year over year (online sales hit $7.4 billion on Black Friday in 2019), according to Adobe Analytics data. It was the second-largest online spending day in U.S. history, coming in behind Cyber Monday 2019. abcnews.go.com
The spending will continue throughout the holiday season while many families wonder how long they will have housing and live off minimal food.
As believers, we have a responsibility to take care of those in need.
- Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. James 1:27
- If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 1 John 3:17
- If one of you tells him, “Go in peace; stay warm and well fed,” but does not provide for his physical needs, what good is that? James 2:16
To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48). If you have heard that line of wisdom, you know it means we are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we benefit others. https://law.utk.edu/
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
16, Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. Matthew 14: 13-17
It is difficult to grasp the concept that Jesus’ disciples were selfish and faithless. Although Jesus was the perfect role model who consistently helped others, they still maintained the “looking out for number one” mindset. Remember, the disciples possessed the power to perform miracles, yet their true character was revealed when they told Jesus to send the people away to fend for themselves. Their response to Jesus’ command to feed the multitude, “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. Matthew 14:17.
The root of the problem is simple: We do not love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind, so it is impossible to love others. Nor can we build our faith in God through self-reliance. We may give the 10% that God requires, Malachi 3:8-15, but God requires more from those He has blessed with wealth. Our definition of wealth is not God’s definition of wealth. When we have all of our necessities, our abundance of money is to provide for others.
Those who want to be rich, however, fall into temptation and become ensnared by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. By craving it, some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. 11 But you, O man of God, flee from these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. 1 Timothy 6:9-11 NLT
Make a change this holiday season. All believers have a divine purpose to bless others. Our unselfish giving to those in need results in an increase of love for God and others. The innate selfish spirit and hardened heart begins to melt away as we become full of compassion and the desire to minister to those who are unable to provide for themselves. Decide to be content with what you have and commit to sharing your financial resources.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25: 34-40
God, we confess that we have hardened hearts and clenched fists concerning our money. We ask forgiveness for the selfish spirit that has controlled us for a long time. We desire to change and fulfill our purpose in life to alleviate the burdens of those in need. We pray for your blessings as we continue to do your will. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the written permission of the author.