Friday, July 29, 2011
~ "I'm beginning to feel like an Israelite..."
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? (Is 48:7)
The NIV (New International Version) of this verse is an easier read: "Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter--when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?"
You cannot be saved by works of service without faith in Christ. Our faith lacks sincerity if it doesn't reach out to others. Pleasing God is more than following His rules - it's what we do for Him and others! He wants our "service" to go beyond our own personal growth to acts of kindness, charity, justice and generosity. It isn't an "either or" arrangement. It has to be both. God is very serious about feeding the hungry, providing shelter to the homeless, clothing the naked and He is very adamant about turning your back on your family.
God does not make promises and then go back on His word. He does not bribe us with rewards and then retract them. He does not change the rules after we've achieved the first step of the transformation. He is constant and consistent. He does not have ulterior motives and He is not selfish. He doesn't play the "favorite" game and His justice and His love are equally shared with all. God's scale is always balanced. We are all His children and we are all answerable to Him for all that we do and all that we fail to do. Our actions and inactions will be called into question one day.
When you agree to something, you are obligated to follow through on that agreement. The decisions that affect the lives of others, those whose lives change because of a promise, a pledge or a guaranteed that you have made can cause more damage than you realize if you rescind your offer. "Changing you mind" out of selfishness or greed without reliance on God (or without asking Him for guidance) is as dangerous as playing with fire. Not using the same "measure" in your dealings with others (for whatever reason) is also something that causes irreparable damage (especially to the one that is the recipient of the "shorter" stick). Taking advantage of those who have, knowing that their love for you is so great that they would never say "no" and then casting them aside when they have nothing left to take from them is, without question, an abomination before the Lord!
God's ultimate plan for you is but a prayer away. Remembering that He will not leave you, nor will He forsake you is not only a promise, it's where faith is born. Take courage knowing that He can and will do whatever it takes to protect you from the cold, nourish your body and soul and help you to overcome the hurt and pain that is heaped upon you by others. He will not relinquish you to the enemy even when it feels like he is closing in on you! You are HIS! He will NEVER let you go!