September 23, 2011


Matthew 25:31-46

Those who are kind to the poor lend to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.
Proverbs 19:17


Too often we think first about ourselves, but Jesus teaches that we need to think and care about others—and that when we serve them, we are serving him. Our proverb for today echoes this eye-opening teaching.

But don’t we often simply ignore others in need and look down on them? Or when we compare ourselves to others, don’t we tend to think we’re the ones who have too little?

As Jesus reminds us, there are people in this world—and very possibly in our neighborhood or at least nearby—who don’t know where their food will come from today, or who don’t have access to health care, clean water, or adequate education. The list could go on and on.

Like Jesus, today’s proverb leads me to consider what I have done for the poor lately, and then it goes a little further. When we give to the poor, it’s like lending to the Lord. Looking into their faces is like looking into the face of Jesus.

So what have we given to God recently?

God wants us to take this challenge seriously, as seriously as we receive his kindness and bounty.

We practice wisdom when we handle our resources the way Jesus would have us do.

“For health and strength and daily food, we give you thanks, O Lord.” As we receive your gifts with open hearts, give us wise kindness to share with others in need. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Henry Kranenburg

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