by Pastor Stephen Abraham
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Since I was young, I have been like a father to the orphans. I have not let anyone die for lack of clothes or let a needy person go without a coat (Job 31:18,19).
Have you ever witnessed generosity that inspired you?
Some years back, my family and I went on a day tour across to Mexico from San Diego, California. Our guide knew lots of the local flavour, and although a US citizen, he had a love for the people of Mexico. We requested not to do traditional tourist trap things but meet local people and get a taste of what life was like south of the border. One thing that instantly became apparent was that our guide was generous to the poor. He would give to every beggar. He was generous to every street vendor. As we waited to cross the border, a young man came selling Spanish doughnuts. Our guide overpaid by 200 per cent. He explained later that the young man was doing this every day to pay for his education.
On our trip home, I asked him about his generosity. He said, ‘I have been given so much in this life. These people have been given so little. I see it as my responsibility to help them as much as I can’.
As I read about Job’s generosity and care for the poor and in need, I am reminded of our tour guide and his generous heart. Job’s example of generosity flows in all avenues: to those who work for him in his household (verse 31) to widows without support (verse 16) to orphans (verses 17 and 21), and the poor in general. Back in Job’s day, there was no Lutheran Care, Lutheran World Service or government social security. It was up to God’s people to provide for those in need, according to the Torah.
Read Deuteronomy 15:1–11.
Maybe we don’t see ‘beggars on the street’ where we live, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reflect the grace and generosity that God has given us or reflect that back in our dealings with our workers, those we meet who are doing it tough, or by giving to our care organisations. We don’t do this to win brownie points to get to heaven; we do this because we are going to heaven!
So, my sisters and brothers, as Hebrews 10:24 says, ‘Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds’.
Let us shine the light of our salvation and show the world God’s heart for those in need by being generous with our time, talents and possessions.
Almighty God, giver of all good things, we thank you for your eternal generosity to us. Spur us on to give to those in need. Holy Spirit, guide us in our giving. We offer to you our organisations that work tirelessly to give and guide those in need. Thank you for all your blessings to us each day. Amen.