READING: Deuteronomy 12-15
“Open your hand willingly to your poor and needy brother in your land.”
God has been really good to me. I have an incredible wife who stands beside me in all my ministry. I’m blessed with the privilege of working for two great Christian organizations. My wife and I have a home, two cars, and a savings account. We’re truly blessed. In fact, we’re so blessed that we could easily give more to help the poor.
That’s why today’s scripture reading makes me uncomfortable. God required the Hebrews to take care of the poor among them, and His Word was clear. The people must not be “hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother” (Deut. 15:7). Instead, they were to open their hands, “freely loan him enough for whatever need he has” (Deut. 15:8), and do so without a “stingy heart” (Deut. 15:10). Their love and support for their brothers and sisters were to compel them to keep God’s Word and give willingly to others.
The New Testament also assumes believers will assist the poor (Matt. 25:31-46, 1 John 3:17). Apparently, something about the love that binds believers together as brothers and sisters in Christ also requires us to meet the needs of the poor among us. God has blessed us so that we might give to others, not to hoard our “stuff” for ourselves.
- Pray now for a compassionate heart today—a heart that does not walk by those in need.
- Consider how you might assist a poorer brother or sister today. Then, do something.
PRAYER: “God, I don’t always minister enough to the poor. Help me to change that this week.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Catch up and review day