Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Cure for Begging - Martin Wiles

Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. Psalm 37:25 NLT
Beggars should never have to beg.
If the godly are never abandoned and their children never have to beg for food, then how do I explain some of the things I’ve witnessed? One family comes to mind. A godly family of four. Their children the same age as my younger brothers. My father their pastor. Trouble followed them. Financial woes were their bedfellows. No sooner had they waded through the waters of one unfortunate circumstance than another rolled in. They needed help of various sorts on many occasions. 
And what about love offerings? Every church I’ve belonged to has taken them up for people with needs. Food banks are a part of many churches’ ministries. If no one needs food, what’s their purpose?
Then there are the shut-ins. Godly people who have served God all their lives but who can’t attend church anymore. Tears fill their eyes as they tell me how much they want to be there. Their stories of financial hardship touch my heart. Paying their bills and getting medicine are challenges.
During his lifetime, the psalmist never saw the godly abandoned or their children begging. My experience has been different. What’s the explanation? Israel worshiped one God and cared for their neighbors. God commanded it; they did it. And so did the early church. Members sold possessions to get money to give to those in need.
When I see others in need, I have one of three choices. I can assume it’s their fault. They made poor financial decisions. They have some horrendous sin in their life for which God is punishing them. They gambled, and it caught up with them.
My second choice is to turn the other cheek because I don’t want to interfere with what God might be doing in their life. Perhaps He is disciplining them for unconfessed and purposeful sins. Maybe He is preparing them for a task as He did Moses when He placed him on the backside of the wilderness.
Neither of the above is a good choice. If I just help—and leave off the judging—then they might not have to beg. And if all believers would help—as all of Israel and the early church did—then no one would have to beg. The cure for begging is for everyone to help as God gives them the ability and opportunity.
Open your hands and wipe out begging.

Prayer: Father, may we open our hands to others as You have opened Yours to us. 

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