Discover His heart: He provides for those in need through the generous hearts of those who love Him
@ Leviticus 19
With four older brothers, the prospect of hand-me-downs was a little disconcerting when I was young. Money, with all the amenities that it buys, was scarce in my early years, and those clothes were threadbare by the time they got to me. However, somehow beautiful clothing seemed to magically appear for me to wear from time to time. It wasn’t until many years later that I learned that a couple of generous families in our church periodically collected clothing for me and gave them to my mom. Yes, they were second-hand but not threadbare, in fact, they were beautiful! When I wore them, I felt like a million bucks and didn’t realize how poor we really were during those early years. God bless those generous hearts!
“When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 19:9-10)
God instituted the first welfare program, the first method to meet the needs of those who were without food. Instead of seeking to get that last grain or that last grape into their own coffers, God encouraged the harvesters to simply regard those who were lacking and provide out of their surplus for them. What a concept! No government programs, no welfare red tape, just generous hearts representing a generous God and providing for the needs of others. Imagine that.
A few years ago I was shopping at the grocery store when a woman walked past me wearing a dress that was familiar to me. From some distinctive alterations that it had, I realized it was a dress I had bought and worn for a while and then donated to a ministry that provided clothing for those in need. She wore it well, and that made me smile as I remembered generous hearts that had touched my life so many years ago.
“You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, ‘They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.’”(2 Corinthians 9:7-9) When we give cheerfully to those in need, God continues to bless us to do even more. While I have remembered generous hearts from my youth for almost 50 years, God remembers them forever, and that, my friends, is a very long time.
Moving Forward: Shrugging off the selfish trends all around me, I pray that God will open my eyes to those in need and fill me with a great big heart of generosity.
Tomorrow @ 2 Kings 16-20