Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29, 2013 … Responding to the poor

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 363

Devotional Song: Go to this link   – to hear Sara Groves singing, Without Love, … declaring the effects of seeing the needs of others and how we become the way God reaches out to meet the needs of those who need Him.

Highlight Passage #1 - NKJV: Leviticus 19: 9-10 [My way or God’s way?]  
9 ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, nor shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10 And you shall not glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather every grape of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the LORD your God.
Highlight Context - NKJV: Leviticus, Chapter 19… GO TO THIS LINK … [Our choice – God’s way or mine! ] … 

Reference Passage #1: Malachi 3: 10-13 … [NKJV] … [God has a plan for helping the poor.] …  
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD Almighty, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you! 11Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not shrivel before they are ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. 12“Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the LORD Almighty.

  Reference Passage #2: 1st Corinthians 13: 3 … [NKJV] … [Taking care of the poor without love as the motive means nothing.] …  
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

My Journal for Today: Dealing with the poor in our world is truly a social conundrum, isn’t it? How do we deal with the poor and down-trodden in our world? Not well … FOR SURE!!

But if we love God and desire to live by His purposes, how does He plan for us to deal with the poor? Are government-managed social welfare programs the answer? Well, if the past and our social history in this country are any evidence, a big “NO” would be the answer to that challenge, wouldn’t it?

But the Bible is where we can find God’s answer – IF – we’re willing to use God’s plan for dealing with the poor as THE answer to the problem. If you go all the way back to the highlight passage from Os Hillman’s devotional today, we see that letting God’s people deal with the poor can be handled by God’s people if we’re willing to give – with love – from the excesses from our fields or businesses to those who are allowed to glean what they need from those excesses. It’s pictured in the way Boaz allowed those in need to glean from his harvest (see the photo attached and the highlight passage from Leviticus, Chapter 19).

Actually, if we’d believe it and use it, God has a very effective plan for dealing with the poor in our land; but it is the church and not the government which is charged with dealing with those in need. It is the tithing system from within the church which – if activated properly – could take care of all the needs of the poor in the church as well as those needy who don’t seek after God’s ways. The Leviticus passage is one way for the marketplace to help the poor; and that is to allow them to feed on the excesses of marketplace profits. But it is said that if 50% of those in God’s church in the modern day world were to tithe, there would be so much money to feed the poor that there would be no need for government operated welfare systems.

 Right now, it is said that about 4% of Evangelical Christians tithe to their churches and denominations. And it’s quite obvious that we’re not fulfilling God’s plan for taking care of our poor, are we? And most certainly anything we do to help the poor, if we’re not spreading God’s love in the process, as it says in 1st Cor. 13: 3, it’s all meaningless and worthless.

So, we Christians have much to consider in fulfilling God’s plan for helping the poor. And I’m convicted personally in this to continue to at least tithe and then to give beyond the tithe as God so leads.

How about you?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, consecrate and activate Your church to be Your vehicle to help the poor. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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