Friday, December 20, 2013
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. (Isaiah 58:7-8 KJV)
Maria Elena of “Love in Action Christian Outreach” posted that verse this morning. I’ve written before of her work with children in Cebu City, Philippines. She feeds, clothes and teaches children through prayer and support of those who read these verses and ones in Matthew:
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:37-40 KJV)
Today we can be divided up into those who know God’s word – either we’re following it or ignoring it – and those who don’t – either they haven’t heard it or simply don’t believe it. So many could not connect the above selections and see that God remains the same. Jesus’ message of salvation includes looking after those with physical needs, not just spiritual needs. James knew this:
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (James 2:15-16 KJV)
In America this month, untold millions of people will go into debt, spending money that may come to them in 2014 if their job doesn’t disappear. Will what they buy feed, clothe or comfort a person in need? Or will it be opened, appreciated, then stored with so many other gifts to take up space in an overfilled home?
I remember participating in a company Christmas gift exchange – one where a gift may be taken a couple of times before becoming the property of one person. It was a large group, lots of fun with a variety of gifts. There was one lovely young lady who was about the tenth to pick. She chose an envelope that was in the stack, not one of the prettily wrapped packages. She opened and read that the suggested $10 for gifts had been donated to an international children’s fund.
There was complete silence. Most of us felt sorry for her, believing she was missing out on the game, and wondered who would put such a gift in to be picked. She must have understood how this was received, and she explained that she chose it because she brought it. Sadly, there was a sense of relief – and no one took that gift from her.
God chose such a gift, giving His son:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)
Believing, we shall not perish. However, believing brings action – if we love, if we accept His gift.