Deuteronomy 15:10-11 (NIV)
10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
Matthew 25:35-40 (NLT
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,[a] you were doing it to me!’
Psalm 41:1-2 (TPT)
41 1 God always blesses those who are kind to the poor and helpless. They’re the first ones God helps when they find themselves in any trouble.
2 The Lord will preserve and protect them. They’ll be honored and esteemed[a while their enemies are defeated.
Hebrews 13:16 (TPT)
16 We will show mercy to the poor[a] and not miss an opportunity to do acts of kindness for others, for these are the true sacrifices that delight God’s heart.
As I checked the temperature early this morning I saw that it was a very frigid 1 degree outside. I became instantly grateful, that I get to work from home most days. As my daughter and my husband went out to brave the cold, I curled up in my warm fuzzy blanket to write. Just as I was starting to feel comfy, I thought of those who did not have a nice warm blanket to curl up in, or maybe even a winter jacket to put on as they walked out of the door this morning. I also thought of the homeless, and how difficult this time of year is for them.I was reminded this morning of my friend Paula, who died suddenly about 3-4 years ago. Although I miss Paula dearly, her kind and compassionate heart and the way that she gave to others will stick with me forever. If there was ever anyone that let their little light shine, it was Paula. I am particularly reminded of her today, because of her desire to help those that she saw that were in need.
It was in the winter time several years ago, that she called me and shared her concern for a perfect stranger. Paula told me that every morning as she drove to work in downtown Ft Worth, that she would drive pass a lady who would be walking briskly, as though she were trying to escape the cold. It bothered her, that she had never seen this lady wearing a coat or a jacket. After driving past her several mornings in a row, Paula could not take it anymore. She called me and said, “ that poor lady has got to be freezing, and I have decided that I am going to buy her a coat ”
So Paula purchased a coat, and the next time she saw her, she pulled over out of traffic and blessed her with a brand new coat. They were complete strangers but this act of kindness had to create an instant bond between them. Can you just take a second, and imagine what that lady’s face must have looked like when Paula gave her a brand new coat. Even more importantly, can you imagine how good Paula’s heartfelt as she drove by the mornings after, and saw the lady walking to work with her brand new coat on? Paula must have felt so blessed, knowing that God used her to make a difference in that lady’s life. How humbling that must have been for Paula.
Another friend’s daughter was a teenager at the time, who had developed a real desire to do something for those who were down and out. It became very difficult for her to drive by people standing on the street corners with signs asking for help, and she does not do something about it.
So many times we see people standing with signs asking for help and we drive by as though they are invisible. My friend’s daughter was no longer willing to just drive by. She went and purchased bottles of water and juice as well as peanut butter and also cheese crackers to keep in her vehicle. She would pass them out to those standing on the street corners as she drove by.
Granted I am not asking that anyone put themselves in a dangerous situation, but I am asking you to be aware of God’s prompting. Don’t ignore His call for you to help someone. Sometimes that call will mean that we have to have faith in God’s ability to protect us through the assignment. Be prepared, sometimes bravery is required.
This young lady had no fear of danger of any sort, she just did it. I really feel in my heart that she felt led to do this. How remarkable, that someone so young saw a need and decided to do something about it.
Amazingly enough, her mother shared with me, that she had no idea that her daughter had been doing this. She saw the drinks and crackers in her daughter’s car and asked her about them, and her daughter’s response was “Oh those are the things that I pass out to the homeless people, that I have been seeing on the street. Needless to say, her mom was shocked and proud all at the same time. Her daughter’s bravery and compassion no doubt were to be commended.
Another friend and her husband met a family that had just moved to their city, and they did not own a car. The woman would have to take all of her children on the bus just to go buy groceries. Public transportation was this family’s only means of getting around. I remember hearing her talk about how long it took by bus just for her to go register her children for school. What a blessing that God had the perfect family in place, that would be willing to give them their extra car, which was in the excellent running condition I might add. This car may not have meant a lot to the family giving it, but to the family receiving it, it meant the world. I am sure, you can just imagine what a gift this was to this sweet struggling family. I am so glad that when God tugged at the hearts of the couple with the car, they felt compassionate towards the family with no vehicle. They were truly difference makers!
This past week God has specifically revealed to me, an area in which He desires for me to give more liberally in. I know that it will be a great sacrifice, but I am never disappointed when I am obedient to God’s call, no matter how difficult. He gives me everything I need to follow through.
Is God convicting you to give and to share more liberally? It is certainly a personal decision between you and God. Please know that we are not always called to give more just where finances are concerned. It could be your time, that God would like for you to give more of to others, or your gifts and talents.
Consider this, you never know whose life will be forever changed, just by your act of kindness. Most importantly, your life will be changed as a result of your giving. I must warn you that giving may become addictive. When you see the joy that it brings to others, and you experience how seeing their joy makes you feel, you will want to continue giving. There is something that feels good, and that feels right when we reach out and bless others.
Many times when we feel that God has prompted us to reach out to someone, it may not be at a convenient time. Whether it conflicts with our schedule or our plans, or it cost us financially, whatever the case God knows before He prompts you to make a move, what is going on in your life. This is where the words sacrificial giving comes in. If we follow Jesus example and give sacrificially as He did we are being the Christ like example to others that God would have us to be. Our response is also the true test of our desire to be more Christ like.
Maybe a new prayer for us, as we leave our homes each day should be, “Lord how can I be your hands and feet today? Show me who you desire for me to be a blessing to today”.
Trust me, He will send someone for you to bless, and you will be blessed in return also.
It is amazing also how, when we reach out to help others we tend to forget about our own problems or struggles, because of our focus shifts from self to others.
I am reminded of the word Joy when used as an acronym it means:
J– Jesus first
O– Others second
Y– You third
Have a blessed and a joy filled day, sharing the love of Christ with those who are in need, whether spirituality, physically or financially. Be a blessing to all that you come in contact with.
Be His hands and feet each and every day.
35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Proverbs 19:17 (NLV)
17 He who shows kindness to a poor man gives to the Lord and He will pay him in return for his good act.
Proverbs 22:9 (TPT)
9 When you are generous[a] to the poor, you are enriched with blessings in return.