“Unexpressed gratitude is fabricated gratitude, only good feelings that expire without being invested in another hungry heart deficient of God’s love.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 19, 2021
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. Proverbs 14:31
Who are invisible people? Those who quietly serve without being recognized for their humble, loving hearts—who can easily be taken for granted, even dismissed. Yet the Lord honors them as the greatest in His kingdom. Their names may be stitched on their shirts, shouting for someone to speak their name to tell them and show them that they matter. They matter because they are created in God’s image, a precious child of their Creator. They matter to society because they provide a valuable service—and they matter to you when you love and value them for who they are! Love takes the time to recognize and celebrate the least of these and in the process honors their Maker.
Solomon, a wealthy man, is very clear in his warning to not oppress the poor, as it is an insult to the Lord God. Oppression of the poor or those not seen by society are treated like second class citizens. Oppression is an expression of pride’s superiority in exalting one social class over another. Self-appointed superiority based on thinking you are better is an affront to Almighty God. Jesus is insulted when one person treats another as inferior by hindering their educational and professional advancement. Christ calls His followers to honor the needy as they honor Him with dignity and generosity. Be generous with love, time and cash to the marginalized and ignored.
“Mercy to the needy is a loan to God, and God pays back those loans in full” (Proverbs 19:17, The Message).
How can you shine the light of love on those hidden in the dark corners of life? Start by being aware of who is there. At a restaurant, look your server in the eyes, ask about her day and how her family is doing. No matter the cost of his meal, I have friend who leaves a minimum of a $20.00 tip. Prayerful and intentional generosity is not just a good gesture—it honors the Lord and draws attention to Divine Love. Unexpressed gratitude is fabricated gratitude, merely good feelings that expire without being invested in another hungry heart deficient of God’s love.
The poor in spirit are those who have a heart for the poor. They embrace their own spiritual bankruptcy outside of the love and grace of God. In this tender place of thanksgiving and humility the Lord’s beloved look around them with eyes of love to see the invisible ones. People who are unable to pay back with money, but give back the spiritual treasures of gratitude, joy, peace and love. Invisible people become visible to eyes who see Jesus in the peripheral of love.
“Then he [Jesus] turned to the host. “The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be—and experience—a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned—oh, how it will be returned—at the resurrection of God’s people” (Luke 14:12-14, The Message).
Heavenly Father, give me eyes of love to see those who many shun with blind eyes of self-importance, through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.
What does intentional generosity look like for me towards the least of these?
Riley Clemmons: Irreplaceable
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