“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17)
To think that God could put himself in debt to you! We live entirely by grace and yet God says he will put himself in debt to us. This is how much he cares for the poor. He promises to look after us when we look after others.
At the start of a new year we often look out at the challenges ahead and the financial challenges often come to mind. You are trusting the Lord for everything that is ahead. The little funds you have are no where near enough for what will be needed.
So the best strategy is to put yourself in God’s hands. If we trust in the little we have it won’t be enough. But if we decide to do what the Lord says, we are putting ourselves in his hands instead, and looking to him to show us the way. He is the only infinite source.
We often start off a new year by helping widows. We don’t do this as a kind of ritual, but because this is a time of year when people are celebrating but often don’t have much to celebrate with. Christmas calls us to come to the aid of others, as Christ came to our aid.
Last new year we had a group of widows visit us and we were able to share a little rice and other food stuffs. They were genuinely happy and appreciative. I said to my friend with us, “These are all now praying for us, and the Lord hears the prayers of widows.”
I am not trying to say that we only help others during the new year season. This is just an example. James said that when the rich held back the wages of the poor, their cries entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth (this means the Lord of the hosts of the armies.) God hears the cries of the poor. He loves them. “He is a husband to the widow and a father to the fatherless.”
We often pray a lot asking God to bless us. Bless widows and orphans and then you will have an army of people praying for you, without you even asking them. And God is righteous. He hears and answers them. Deposit your money with God and he will repay you all that you need. He is a surer bank than any in this world.
Recently a bold young girl came crying to my office. Her brother was at home, unable to afford school fees. She cared about her brother. She also told me about other needs her family had. I asked her to come back later, so one hour later she was back (that wasn’t what I meant!)
If we don’t hear the cry of the helpless, why should God hear our cry? We are just like this helpless girl when it comes to our own prayers to God. When we don’t listen to the cries of others, why should God listen to us? If we show mercy to others, then God shows mercy to us.
God’s kingdom is about mercy. Mercy starts with him. He showed us mercy on the cross, taking our sufferings, forgiving us for inflicting them upon him, when we didn’t deserve it. The kingdom of God is about learning to share this same mercy with others, in his name and to his glory.
This is what makes the world a better place.
Don’t say you don’t have enough to share with others. You don’t have enough not to share. It is sharing with others that gives you enough. Remember the few loaves and fish. They became more than enough by sharing. They even fed a whole multitude, with much left over. So shall it be this year.
And sharing spreads kindness to overcome hatred. Sharing is the best kind of “warfare,” overcoming evil in our nation with good.