The Richest Among Us

December is many things, but one of the hallmarks of this month would have to be the opportunities we are given to extend a helping hand to the needy.  Red kettles on street corners… paper angels on Christmas trees inscribed with the hopes and dreams of little girls and boys… good-looking Marines collecting toys that will brighten the eyes of tots… Truly this month beckons us to think beyond our own needs and desires.


Yet those with hearts attuned to God’s heart understand that giving to others is not a “December” thing.  It is a life-enhancing practice that should be as natural to Christians as breathing air.

Proverbs 19:17… “Giving help to the poor is like loaning money to the LORD. He will pay you back for your kindness.” (ERV)

I sent this verse to a friend of mine who was having financial difficulties.  I challenged her to give to a food pantry or some other outreach each week, even if it was only a can of soup or a bar of soap.  Why would I give that advice?  Because I truly believe that when we give out of our poverty, God will bless us out of His wealthnot just in December, but all year long.

Lord, please help us to understand that the richest among us are not the ones with the most money in the bank, but those with eyes that see the need and hearts that respond in love. 

Thank you Father for seeing our need and responding with Jesus…

Merry Christmas!

A Peek into the Heart of God

Charity suffereth long, and is kind…is not easily provoked…Beareth all things… endureth all things.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4,5,7

The archaic translation of the KJV sounds funny to my ears.  “Love” makes more sense to my modern ears.  But the Holy Spirit began to woo my heart away from modern sensibilities and opened my eyes to the heart of God.

Today, when we think of “charity”, we think of giving to the poor and needy.  Seldom does the word make us feel warm and fuzzy inside and cause us to desire face time with those we are closest to.  But the word “charity” is an apt word that comes much closer to what Paul is writing about than our overused and undervalued “love.”


When you toss a dollar or two into the hat of a street person, you never expect that person to jump up and give you money back… Do you?

When you buy groceries to support a Food Pantry, you never expect the recipients to knock on your door with a bag of food for your family… Do you?

That is the heart of charity – loving without expecting anything in return.  It is loving your spouse, children and friends all the while knowing that they have weaknesses and blind spots; knowing that they will let you down and cause you pain from time to time – yet loving them anyway.

I have taught this principle and felt good about it.  But this week, the week we honor the sacrifice of Christ, I was challenged to dig a little deeper.

If you were walking down the street and the homeless person knocked you down, spit on you and smeared your face with trash, how likely would you be to put a dollar in their hat?

I can answer for myself: “Not very likely!”  Yet our Lord and Savior went through the worst treatment imaginable, suffered long, bore it all, endured it all… all for Love.  Love for you and me.  Love that we can never repay.

And this is the love He desires that we extend to each other.  When we do, we can rest assured that, whether we call it “charity” or “love”, it will never fail.

May your celebration of Easter be meaningful and rich in love…