How are you reaching out and helping? How are you getting involved in helping others? How are you exemplifying God’s hand extended in and through your life? How are you helping to transform the world around you? In today’s reading from Deuteronomy 15, if we take hold of one verse, let’s consider and meditate on verses 7-11.
‘”If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ ‘ –from Deuteronomy 15:7-11
It is something greater than what government can solve and requires us on an individual level to get involved. It isn’t for the government to solve every problem but it is up to us as the body of Christ to be leading by example so that all people will be walking open-handed so that God is able to work in and through each of us to make a difference in the lives of the poor we pass in our daily lives. It may not always be about giving money but out of the generosity of our hearts being able to give life and speak hope and truth and love into the lost. Let’s consider what happened when Peter met the poor person as he was going into the synagogue in Acts 3 verse 6.
The Lame Beggar Healed
1Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple. 3Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms. 4And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!” 7And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9And all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
–from Acts 3
Peter didn’t have monetary option or solution to the man’s problem. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to us so that we can see beyond the surface and into what is really needed and what we can really do for the glory of the kingdom of God. So let’s consider what we can do today as we go out and when we are walking or driving. How will or would God have us help? How can we leave home today prepared to make a difference? And yes making the difference in the life of one person does make a difference. I know and realize that through the camps I have been a part of and now lead. Ever heard the story of the starfish? Before we jump into today’s reading let me share it with you…
As you see it makes a difference to that one. Some may look at the bigger picture and try to give up without trying. Some may look and see the vastness of the issue and miss out on the small things or the one thing that they could do to make a difference. So today don’t let the vastness or the greatness of the needs and miss out on what or how you can help that one person. How will today be your day to help.
Today’s reading comes to us today from Deuteronomy 15…
The Sabbatical Year
1″At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. 2And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor. He shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the Lord’s release has been proclaimed. 3Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother your hand shall release. 4But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess— 5if only you will strictly obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today. 6For the Lord your God will bless you, as he promised you, and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow, and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you.
7″If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, 8but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. 9Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. 10You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. 11For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’
12″If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh year you shall let him go free from you. 13And when you let him go free from you, you shall not let him go empty-handed. 14You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, out of your threshing floor, and out of your winepress. As the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him. 15You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. 16But if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he is well-off with you, 17then you shall take an awl, and put it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your slave forever. And to your female slave you shall do the same. 18It shall not seem hard to you when you let him go free from you, for at half the cost of a hired worker he has served you six years. So the Lord your God will bless you in all that you do.
19″All the firstborn males that are born of your herd and flock you shall dedicate to the Lord your God. You shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20You shall eat it, you and your household, before the Lord your God year by year at the place that the Lord will choose. 21But if it has any blemish, if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God. 22You shall eat it within your towns. The unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as though it were a gazelle or a deer. 23Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water.
–from Deuteronomy 15
Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on scientific discovery brings us the topic of Health Care and Education in remote places. Do you realize the impact the Bible has on health care services and educational facilities in the isolated areas of the world? Do you realize the needs and take hold of God’s desire that we bring everyone into relationship with Him? We learn in today’s devotional about a people who have to paddle in order to get to hospitals and schools in Papua New Guinea. We learn that this means it can take hours or even days to get there. We learn how Peter and Lin Calvert recognized the problem, saw people in need, and organized a solution. We learn about how they founded Kapuna and Kikori Hospitals and Schools deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. It was God’s Word and Biblical principles that were the foundation for their work which now serves over 30,000 tribal people lives between the two hospitals. The inspiration of the Bible got Peter and Lin to step up and step out to provide health care serves and educational facilities in this isolated area of the world. It continues to impact thousands of lives.
So what is God calling you to do? What is God’s Word in the Bible inspiring you to do? In your neighborhood? In your community? In your workplace? In your schools? In your hospitals? Or is He calling you to go out beyond your comfort zone and your local community in order to make a difference in the lives of people you don’t know yet? Will you live open handed so that God can get it through you? “If God can get it through you, He will get it to you” is a quote I remember hearing over the years.
Are you willing to allow God work in and through your life? Are you willing to respond to the prompting of the Holy spirit? Are you ready to complete the good works God is preparing in advance for you to accomplish?
So let’s pray and consider how God can and will use us today for the glory of His Kingdom…
Have you received or asked Jesus into your heart yet? Let’s pray…
For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that You have in it for me. I praise You Lord for the incredible works and plans You have prepared in advance for us to accomplish. Help me Lord through Your Spirit to hear and obey the directions, the leading, and the commands for how You will use me today to touch the lives of those You bring across my path so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.