Posts Tagged ‘Poor’


Numbers 13:1-2,17-20,25-28,30-31 The Lord now said to Moses, “Send out men to explore the land of Canaan, the land I am giving to the Israelites. Send one leader from each of the twelve ancestral tribes”… Moses gave the men these instructions as he sent them out to explore the land: “Go north through the Negev into the hill country. See what the land is like, and find out whether the people living there are strong or weak, few or many. See what kind of land they live in. Is it good or bad? Do their towns have walls, or are they unprotected like open camps? Is the soil fertile or poor? Are there many trees? Do your best to bring back samples of the crops you see.” (It happened to be the season for harvesting the first ripe grapes)… After exploring the land for forty days, the men returned to Moses, Aaron, and the whole community of Israel at Kadesh in the wilderness of Paran. They reported to the whole community what they had seen and showed them the fruit they had taken from the land. This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!… But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. “Let’s go at once to take the land,” he said. “We can certainly conquer it!” But the other men who had explored the land with him disagreed. “We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”

It seems the Israelites reached the end of their journey pretty soon but for the presence of the giants in Canaan.

Why did God instruct the Israelites to go see the land He was about to give them when the land was occupied by hostile people? (more…)

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Leviticus 19:1-2,4,9-10,19,31-32,36-37 (ESV) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy… Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the LORD your God… “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God… “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind… “Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God. “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD… You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin: I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the LORD.”

What a treasure trove of good advice this chapter is and I never appreciated it till I reached this point in my journey across the Bible.

The challenge however is to be able to draw something specific from it and once again I wish I could split this chapter into many devotionals but God wants me to keep at His work.

What today are the key thoughts God has given us and how can we apply it into our lives? (more…)


Exodus 23:10-11,13,20-22,29-30 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove… “Be careful to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods; do not let them be heard on your lips… “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you… But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.

Being agrarian and shepherds by profession, these laws were written to deal with every issue the Israelites might encounter but the one purpose they were given these laws was to keep them walking God’s path and not falling away.

Today we do not follow these laws and therefore we wonder what God’s purpose is in revealing this to us? (more…)


Revelation 3:1-2,8,15-20 I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God… I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name…

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Today’s chapter was all the more meatier than I expected and therefore I apologize for selecting 9 verses to reflect on. This is a continuation of God’s message to the 7 churches and like yesterday’s messages, they speak to each of us at our situation in our spiritual walk.

God knows us, knows our situations and gives us the grace to cope with where we are at. That is obvious from the way He speaks to us in each circumstance or situation. What I wonder is why does God not simply save us from the trials of life and take us straight to be with Him after we accept Him as our Lord and Savior?

To answer that question, we need to look at Jesus’ own life here on earth. He never came with any pomp and never lived in splendor, spent most of His ministry time with the poor, sick, outcast and sinful, did not give Israel the prominence they hoped for, brought His gospel to all regardless of race and lived to see a death so painful caused by those He came to save.

The purpose of our lives in Christ is not to escape the realities of life but instead to live a life of victory in Christ. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are transformed from the inside out by the Holy Spirit and are able to directly communication with Jesus.

When we live in total submission to Him the challenges of this life cannot shake us because we now have God’s strength on our side, His protection of our souls as an assurance, His Holy Spirit to minister to us, His grace to carry us through, His love to overshadow the hate of this world, His peace to comfort us, His joy to keep a smile on our face in adversity and His promise to take us to be with Him as our final reward!

Are we awake or asleep in the spirit, do we see the open door of God before us, are we lukewarm in our faith or have the thrills of this earthly life caught our fancy? I pray today that we awake from our slumber and hold on to the hope that once brought us on our knees to submit our lives to Christ. I pray that those of us who have never experienced Jesus will do so and life a life of victory in Him.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

1 Peter 1:7 These have come so that your faith–of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

James 2:1-4, 12-13
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?… Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

God speaks very simply at times and today’s passage seems like one of those messages. How hard is it to understand favoritism? We’ve been there and done it and I hope you don’t disagree because we all have at some point and still do. It is evident in the places we live, at restaurants we dine at, in shopping malls, offices, schools, trains, planes, etc. People with more resources are always more privileged because they have more versus people with less. We have been victims or oppressors and so this is a reality we live with. Rather than causing a stir, wouldn’t it be more peaceable for us to gently ‘deal’ with this issue because the victims always understand their place as do the ‘wealthy’ in expectation. Would there not be more blessing and less friction to go this route?

(more…)


2 Corinthians 8:7-9, 12
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich… For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

I have always been uncomfortable about messages on giving because I fear it takes away from the essence of Jesus. In my head, I separate finances from the spiritual realm as they don’t seem to fit together well or so I thought. This morning, as I read Paul’s recommendation on giving, I saw new meaning to it. That added with our present situation of trying to buy a home with the limited resources we have plus our non-existent credit history has opened my eyes to a new facet in our walk with the Lord. When I first started putting money in the offertory as a little boy, my understanding of giving was that it was a fee we paid, and as I grew up, it felt like buying favors with God. After I was saved, it became a joyous offering of what God gave me.

However, my understanding of giving was limited to finances. As I progressed in my walk with the Lord, I learnt that giving was in all areas of our lives and what we gave was the first fruits of what we had, whether it be our time, our love, our service, our efforts, our participation, etc. When we note that our Lord Jesus was rich, our minds construe it as wealth and we feel sad for what he sacrificed in terms of wealth. What Jesus actually sacrificed was much more and that includes being in the presence of God, something He valued so much that He wanted us to have. The riches Jesus wanted us to have were not simply material comforts but the abounding grace of God. To the blind, the greatest gift is not a lottery but the gift of sight. To the dying, the greatest gift is life. To the materially unsatisfied dying soul, the greatest gift they can have is a fullness of joy that no money can buy, a lifetime of guilt free living, an eternity in the presence of God to enjoy His glory and grace and many more such things that we can never buy. Jesus became poor so that through his poverty and sacrifice, we may become rich in a way no man can be through their own efforts. Are you rich and if so, is that going to satisfy your soul’s cravings?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Philippians 2:5-7 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness…


Luke 17:11-19
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

What a sight it must’ve been for those traveling with Jesus when ten lepers called out to him for healing as he passed them by. Over and over again in the gospels, we hear the plea of the poor, the suffering, the dying, the mourning and what is interesting about them is that they are not ashamed to call out to Jesus for help. What is even more amazing is that this is what the Lord appreciated and responded to with healing and the basis was their faith in him and his ability to heal them. In this passage above, it is the record of another great miracle but the response from those who were healed is what is most important for us today.

Last evening, we were visiting with dear friends who are better called family considering the relationship we share. They shared something from times past when they lived in Dubai that I would like us to do. Every Christmas, each person in their fellowship would bring in a list of prayer needs for the following year and these would be individually sealed in envelopes and stored by a custodian. The following Christmas, the envelope would be opened and the individuals would share the way the Lord worked in their lives. It would be outstanding to see how God answered prayers and people would express their gratitude to God for his manifold blessings. We need to know that God will answer our prayers if it is what he wants for us and we ask in faith. However, when God answers, what is our response? Have you been grateful to God for his countless blessings in your life? Have you thanked him and been grateful for his goodness? Lets be people of gratitude for what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives. Let’s not be the 9 healed lepers who forgot but rather like the one who was sincerely grateful.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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A Natural Canopy