Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Poor Will Be Rich

How would most in your church respond if a homeless person walked in and sat down? What would the faces say? What would the hearts ponder? Really.

I can honestly say that I believe my church would accept anyone into its doors--and I love that. But I would also venture to say that there would be some--maybe even myself for at least a split second--who pass judgment and avoid embrace. Oh how I hope that would not be me.

People, in general, judge by appearance, but God looks at the heart. In Him there is no partiality--none. In fact James reminds us in 2:5 that God has actually chosen "the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him." Why? Because riches deceive. Money itself is not evil but we as humans tend to worship it and depend upon it for our peace.

My dad had such a compassionate heart for those with nothing material. He would travel to India on a regular basis preaching to the most desolate, impoverished of peoples with such a tenderness for revival--and thousands upon thousands would come to repentance. I remember him giving to the "least of these" through our church doors of downtown Tampa. Even now as I write in remembrance, tears flow with thanksgiving for his witness. Though he enjoyed nice things--who wouldn't--I never sensed from him a love for the material world. I hope to carry on that legacy.

"Do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality." (James 2:1) Let us guard ourselves--satiated with stuff--from loving the things by which we are surrounded and judging those who cross our paths. May we ask God to give us His eyes--His heart--for the people in which our hands could touch today.

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