December 17, 2009 – Shivering in the Cold
Scripture: Job 31: 16-20 (MSG)
Have I ignored the needs of the poor, turned my back on the indigent,
Taken care of my own needs and fed my own face while they languished?
Wasn’t my home always open to them?
Weren’t they always welcome at my table?
Have I ever left a poor family shivering in the cold when they had no warm clothes?
Didn’t the poor bless me when they saw me coming, knowing I’d brought coats from my closet?
Job tries to justify himself before God. Don’t we try to do the same? “Lord, I’ve preached sermons, I’ve given money, I’ve cooked food, I’ve visited the sick, etc., etc., etc.” But like it or not, there are still people out shivering in the cold.
Now I am not suggesting that we can or should try to take care of every poor family. I don’t think we can but I do believe that we can do a better job of giving from the heart. Sometimes we take the easy way out – the way that costs us the least in terms of time, money or effort. Sometimes we take the way that will bring us the most “warm fuzzies” – the way that causes us to look good. And sometimes we take the way that does nothing at all – because we don’t know what to do and the task seems too great. I seem to remember a parable that Jesus told about the talents. Remember it? I think if we give of our best, from the heart, the returns will be immeasurable and we won’t need to think about justifying ourselves.
Father, show me where I need to be more merciful and generous. Give me a heart of love, melt my heart of stone. Let me be a person after Your heart; Lord, I ask that You give me Your heart for Your people, to love them as You love them. In the powerful Name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.