Do you remember your first apartment or house that was all yours? Oh I remember it like it was yesterday, that was 30 years ago. My parents drove me from small town Indiana to big city Houston, Texas. Freedom, independence, adulthood, responsibility. Excuse me, what was that last one?
Did someone say responsibility? Like cooking for myself, doing my own laundry, cleaning my own toilet, and paying my own bills? Yep, exactly. Fortunately for me, I had a fab mom who taught me how to do my laundry and since she worked outside of the home, my sisters and I did do some cleaning around the house. (I don’t ever remember cleaning the toilet, though).
Paying bills, new concept all together! Back in the day we had this thing called a “landline”. You had to pay extra for long distance calls. I know this is foreign to some of you, just hang with me for a second while I reminisce. I incurred a phone bill that was more than I could afford at the time so I thought I would just pay part of it, like a credit card. Southwestern Bell let me quickly know they were not in the credit business. Off went the phone.
You know how we are with our phones today, OMG! We can’t go anywhere without them. Back then it was a big deal not to have your landline. I believe I did make the call to my mom and dad and asked for a little help to get my phone turned back on.
Our Heavenly Father calls us to responsibilities too as His followers. Proverbs 14:31 tells us that we have a duty to attend to the needy. Google defines needy as “lacking the necessities of life, poor.” God supplies us with all we need, however in this world life happens. Sometimes a lot of unexpected life happens. At any time, on any day without notice anyone can become down on their luck, lose some things, or every thing.
When I stop and think about all of my blessings and “every good and perfect gift is from above, (James 1:17a) it just makes total sense that we would want to thank God by showing compassion and giving assistance to those in need.
I think it is a beautiful thing that during the holidays many charities make it easy for us to donate food, toys, clothes, and daily essentials. But what about the rest of the year. Children and elderly still go hungry 11 other months. Kids don’t just need winter coats to keep warm, they also need shorts and T-shirts for the summer months. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking these holiday drives because I do think they are wonder and they get so many people in the giving spirit. I just think, and myself included, we need to consider what we do to help those less unfortunate than us all year.
I also want to address another area of poverty and that is being spiritual poor.
People today are spiritually dry, desperately seeking. We can come to their aid by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and praying with them. The King James Version of Psalms 96:3 says, “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples” and Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
God not only calls us to go to the needy with physical items and financial assistance but he calls us to share His love joy peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22) with those who are lost.
Taking care of God’s people in true need is not a responsibility I want to be irresponsible with like I was some 30 years with a phone bill.
Heavenly Father I ask that you will put on our hearts today a giving spirit. Not just during the holidays but all year-long. Father I lift up to you today all of those who are suffering from poverty, economically and spiritually. I pray that you will give them peace today Father. Cover them with your protection and see over their needs by leading us to them. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Ways to give year round:
Local Food Pantries
Your elderly neighbors
Tutoring children after school
Grandparents who are raising their grandchildren
Start a city-wide bible study
This is just a start of where we can begin my friend. Share your thoughts. I would love to hear your ideas of how we can reach out 12 months a year?