Thursday, February 27, 2014

Proverbs 31 Woman: Verse 20

"She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yeah, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy." Proverbs 31:20

My church recently started getting involved in a homeless ministry in our community.  Not only do they help the poor, but they reach out to the nursing homes and other community needs.  As I started studying this verse, it made me think of what I was actually doing to help the poor and needy.  The Proverbs 31 woman not only took care of her own household, but she reached out to the less fortunate, the ones that society ignored.

I can attest to the fact that we all have limited time and resources.  However, there is always some way that we can contribute, whether it be donating food, goods, or services, monetary donations, or even a donation of our time, as some of the members of my church have done with the homeless shelter.  Even the little things that we do for those nearest us who are in need can make a difference.  For example, if I know someone
whose children have outgrown their clothes but they just can't afford to buy them new ones, I will scour my children's closets to find some that would fit.  Believe me, there was a time when I was in the same situation and some one came to my rescue!

Even when we don't seem to have anything to offer, we can reach deep and find something.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:2-4, "For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means as I can testify, and beyond their means of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints." (ESV)  Even though trials and afflictions hit, these people kept their joy and even gave abundantly where it was needed.  They went above and beyond of what they actually had and, yet, they were excited about it!  I have no doubt that God met the needs of these generous people!

The woman in Proverbs 31 knew this principle and practiced it.  It was probably not easy and consumed some of the limited time she had with her family, but she knew the importance of giving to those in need.  I believe that, after it was all said and done, she had a feeling of contentment, knowing that she had changed the life of somebody who desperately needed it.  What more could you and I do with the many resources we have at hand in today's world?  What a great thing, to help someone without wanting anything in return!

Help us, Lord, to live an unselfish life and to try to be more like you!  Help us to understand the principle of  "It is more blessed to give than to receive."  (Acts 20:35, KJV)

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