January 29 I Sunday

Exodus 21-22

Matthew 19



“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”   —Proverbs 11:25


What does it mean to be poor? To be poor is a relative thing, it means that one’s resources are not equal to the demands that are made on one. The poor in our society are not treated well—even Scripture tells us, “The poor are shunned by all their relatives—how much more do their friends avoid them!” (Proverbs 19:7). Not only with family but also with neighbours as Proverbs 14:20 says: “The poor are shunned even by their neighbours, but the rich have many friends.” When someone has little to offer, people tend to retract, thinking this person has no value and no contribution to make to us. This makes the poor vulnerable, with few options. As Christians, we have the responsibility to care for the poor.

       On the Day of Judgment, one of the issues we are going to answer for before God is our treatment of the poor. Jesus tells us, “‘For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited Me in, I needed clothes and you clothed Me, I was ill and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you came to visit Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or needing clothes and clothe You? When did we see You ill or in prison and go to visit You?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of Mine, you did for Me’” (Matthew 25:35-40). When we give and serve those who are less fortunate than us, we are giving to and serving Jesus.

       Proverbs 19:17 tells us, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward them for what they have done.” Giving to the poor is like giving to God, and God will repay us. “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor” (Proverbs 22:9).

       When we are generous, we are blessed. But how much should we give? Paul answers, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Nobody has the right to tell us what we must give; there is no legal obligation, but God loves a cheerful giver. May we see the poor as God sees them and care for them as unto God.

Prayer: Lord God, open my eyes to see the poor as You see them. Give me a heart to care for them as unto You. Thank You, God.

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