Daily Devotions

Care for the Poor

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"Happy are those who consider the poor; the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble."
(Psalm 41:1)

The psalm begins as a beatitude. A "beatitude" is "a state of utmost bliss" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). For the person of faith, bliss is found in interesting ways. Bliss, or happiness, is found in caring for the poor. When God provides opportunities for you to care for the poor, God is trying to provide you with the opportunity for blissful happiness.

This is the first time the psalms uses the word "poor" and is translated elsewhere in the psalms as "weak." The way we relate to the poor and the weak, models the way we relate to God. Bliss occurs in our connectedness to the source of life, God, and in our dependence upon God.

Sometime today, pray for the poor, being as specific as possible. Mention specific ways God might use the faithful to creatively respond to the needs of the poor. Then, find a specific way this week, to tangibly help the poor. Perhaps you will volunteer at the Shelter, or CROSS Ministries. You might give money to DMARC or Family Promise. But, if you give money, give it to the organization in person, and seek to find out a little more about the organization and how they specifically provide for the poor. Then, close your prayer by thanking God for the blessings you received, and reflect on how without them, your life would have been harsh, and probably sad. Giving to those in need, is both obligation and blessing. Rejoice that you have the ability to give.

God Knows You, God Accepts You

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"As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me." (Psalm 40:17)

There are moments in each of our lives when we feel unworthy of God's love or care. We can talk about grace and God's love, but when we feel depressed or guilty, we do not have forgiveness for ourselves. If I cannot face myself, how could God ever love me? I often feel emotionally and spiritually "poor and needy."

But God is not manipulated by our feelings or even our actions. According to this verse, God thinks of you. You and I are part of God's consideration and love. As I have said time-and-again, there is no sin you can commit that God does not have the power to forgive. God's grace is more powerful than any sin. And because God loves you unconditionally, you are loved, forgiven and healed. God does this because God knows you by name, and will not forsake you. Believe it, deep in your heart. Feel God's acceptance.


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