Isaiah 58:6-7 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
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?
When we think about God’s provision it often doesn’t occur to us that He wants us to be channels of that provision to others. As the following verses make clear, the rewards for doing so are great! Some of us have more contact with physical need than others, but everyone has opportunity in this area. Some would protest that “Charities are scams,” but there are certainly some, like Samaritan’s Purse, that are fully trustworthy. We are bombarded with pleas for money, so it does call for discernment, but if we are genuinely desiring to please God, this is an area that must not be overlooked. God desires not only to meet needs but to transform the hearts of His children in the process.
I am very much preaching to myself here. I am convicted of being very stingy with financial gifts, other than to this church. We do give 15% of our income, but this is a different matter. We do give food and clothing directly as the opportunities arise, but as often as I have recommended Samaritan’s Purse, I’ve never sent them anything. I don’t think that pleases God. By the standards of the “developed nations” my income isn’t great – I haven’t had to pay income tax most years – but by the standards of the world as a whole, I live a life of luxury. I am to remember that God is my supply, and keep everything in my hands – and bank account – available to Him. There are many things that tempt me, but I have precious few needs that aren’t met, and abundantly at that. I am to seek God’s will at every turn, not rejecting His blessings to me but not hanging on to them either.
Father, thank You for this Word of correction. I confess to allowing myself to be numbed by all the pleas for money, when that isn’t the response You desire. Help me be the steward You want me to be of everything You provide, for the sake of Your kingdom and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!