Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day...Poverty

I received notice that today is "Blog Action Day 2008" and thought I would look for scripture that deals with poverty and the poor. While our family were missionaries to the Sioux Indians in South Dakota, I saw poverty first-hand. It is an ugly thing that is not always caused by laziness. Sometimes, it is caused by any number of things from location, life decisions, etc. We as Christians are called to reach out and help the poor and oppressed. I would like to hear from you today as your feelings about what poverty means to you, what can be done, or a situation of someone you know who lives in poverty.

"He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor." - Proverbs 14:31...This is very simply put...we are not to oppress the poor...we gain nothing from bringing others down...from holding them back...if we are to honor our Lord, we will have mercy on the poor. That doesn't mean saying "I'll pray for you" and going our way, but to reach out and help them where they are.

"If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:" - Deuteronomy 15:7...Once again, we are instructed to help out those in need...don't harden your heart...don't shut your hand from them either...reach out with love one to another...like it states don't withhold from thy poor brother.

"If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury." - Exodus 22:25...Don't give out of what you will get in return. Give of the kindness of your heart. Usury in Webster's dictionary is defined as "interest". Don't expect payment with interest...if you know they are unable to re-pay, why would you also expect payment with interest? Why do we only give when we think the opportunity for re-payment exists? That's not showing true love, is it? Realize when I point a finger, I have more pointing back at me...

And, for my final verse, I came across..."Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse in his ways, though he be rich." - Proverbs 28:6...Would you rather be poor and have a close relationship with the Lord? Or would you rather have riches below, that will wither and waste away?

Be mindful of your charity and outreach today...not only to those who can do something for you financially...give and it shall be given unto you...don't give expecting in return, there is no glory in that...

May we reach the lost, hungry, and impoverished every day...Please let me know if there is a special prayer I can word on your behalf today...

1 comment:

Nate said...

Craig...yeah I've seen some abject poverty firsthand. We went on a missions trip to the Philippines and saw how bad it is for many people around the world. We saw people who lived by the sea who built their homes out of whatever they could scrouge up. These people also had to hike 2-3 miles inland to find suitable drinking water.

I can as Christians and churches we can get behind clean water projects done in His name. There are many organizations (secular and Christian) working on such projects. I know of a church in Portland, Oregon that focuses on projects like this around the holidays every year. They call it Advent Conspiracy and they raise 100,000's of thousands of dollars for clean water in places like the Philippines, Africa, and South America.