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March 30

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“There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor” (Deuteronomy 15:11 NLT).

From: March 30, 2019

CAN POVERTY BE ELIMINATED?

According to God’s Word, poverty will never be eliminated in this world. Yet, this fact is stated not to excuse our responsibility to the poor, but to encourage our ongoing generosity towards them.
 
As the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land, God made provision for every person and tribe to be land owners. He promised to bless them with rain and abundant harvests. He told them, “There should be no poor among you, for the Lord your God will greatly bless you in the land he is giving you as a special possession” (Deut. 15:4). Yet, only a few verses later, God says there will always be poor in the land. Is this a contradiction? Certainly not. Both statements are true. God blessed Israel sufficiently to eliminate poverty, but human sin always results in human impoverishment.
 
If the people of Israel could’ve obeyed God’s Law, there would have been no poor among them. But they could not. This is why we need a Savior. One who takes our poverty upon Himself and offers the riches of heaven in return.
 
When Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume, pouring it out and wiping it with her hair, Judas Iscariot was incensed. He questioned why it wasn’t sold and the money given to the poor. But Jesus rebuked him saying, “The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me” (John 12:8). Jesus was not relieving his disciples of their responsibility towards the poor of which he was always mindful, but was commending the extravagant love Mary had expressed to him.
 
Our responsibility to help the poor should keep this principle in mind. Human poverty is more than physical, it has a spiritual basis. We must offer both bread and the Bread of Life to the poor if we wish to eliminate poverty in our land.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, help us to always be generous towards the poor, knowing that you have been generous towards us by giving us your Son, Jesus. Teach us how to share the gospel and meet needs too. We want to follow your Spirit in this.

“A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, and she could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped” (Luke 8:43-44 NLT).

From: March 30, 2018

THE TOUCH THAT BOTH HEALED AND MADE CLEAN
A woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years saw her opportunity to touch the hem of Christ’s garment unseen, hidden by the press of the crowd. No doubt she wanted to avoid drawing attention to herself. Her condition meant that she was “ceremonially unclean” (Lev. 15:19), forbidden to touch anyone, nor to enter the Temple courts. If she were to touch someone, her ceremonial uncleanness would pass to them, so that they would be unclean until evening.
 
Dr. L. Lewis Wall, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University, believes that the woman may have been suffering from a “vesicovaginal fistula” (“Jesus and the Unclean Woman,” Christianity Today). He has observed this condition in the women of third world countries which results when labor becomes obstructed and is not reversed with timely surgical intervention. Such a condition would have been incurable not only in the first century, but in all the years up until the modern era of surgical medicine.
 
Yet, in her desperation for wholeness, the woman secretly reached out to touch the “fringe” of Christ’s robe. This “fringe” was probably the “tassel” of His prayer shawl, worn as an outer garment over His robe. The prayer shawl or “tallit,” had four tassels tied to its four corners to represent the laws of Moses (Num. 15:37-41). In other words, the unclean woman touched the most holy part of Jesus’ clothing. But even though the law taught that her uncleanness would be transmitted to Jesus, instead, His holiness and healing were transmitted to her!
 
Jesus knew that “healing power” had gone out from Him. Her secret was out. She fell at His feet trembling with fear, admitting that she had touched Him. But Jesus commended her faith. A touch of Jesus had made her whole— physically and spiritually— whole.

“Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails” (Psalm 71:9 NKJV).

From: March 30, 2017

Do you have a retirement plan?
 
The psalmist asked that the Lord not forget him when he became old and weak. He knew that the Lord had cared for him since birth, but he wanted to be sure that the Lord wouldn’t forget him in his final days.
 
As we age, we die by degree. Our sight needs correction and our hearing fades. Our joints lose flexibility and our hair grays. Each day seems to hold a new decrease and decline. Yet, we may still increase in the Lord! The time of old age can be a time of spiritual advance. While the body fails, the spirit may soar on eagle’s wings in the strength of our God.

“For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth.” (Psalm 71:5 ESV)

From: March 30, 2016

Hope is the strong desire for a favorable future. Yet, experiences of past and present failures often dash our hopes, making us less hopeful for tomorrow. But the Psalmist found that his hope in the Lord was trustworthy and true since his youth. Anchoring his hope in the Lord, his hope for the future soared. We can make Christ our hope. He will never disappoint. Our hope in Jesus is anchored in his resurrection, trusts in his reliability and focuses on his soon return. Christ is our hope for our past, present and future.

“I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only” (Psalm 71:16 NKJV)

From: March 30, 2015

This psalm is a prayer describing to God a determination to proclaim His salvation all the day, yet to do it in “the strength of the Lord.” And to never take credit for salvation, but to give total credit to God and His righteousness. This is my prayer today: To go out in the strength and power of the Lord and to declare His righteousness and salvation all the day!

“Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God. Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me” (Psalm 71:18 NLT)

From: March 30, 2014

I’m not sure that I’m as old as the Psalmist, but I am getting a little gray and I do have grandchildren. I understand his perspective I think. And so, I join in his prayer for God’s help to pass the baton of faith to my children’s children. Not only in my family, but in God’s family (which is the church) as well. I desire God’s power and presence in my life to increase as my own strength decreases. More of Christ and less of me. Lord, “let me proclaim your power to this new generation!”

“But taking her by the hand he called, saying, ‘Child, arise.'” (Luke 8:54 ESV)

From: March 30, 2013

Before Christ raised the 12-year old daughter of Jairus the synagogue ruler from the dead, he comforted him saying that she was not dead, only sleeping. The mourners laughed at Jesus, but He answered their unbelief by saying, “Child, arise.” When death encounters Life, death looks like sleep. Death is defeated, when Life says to us “Come forth!”

“‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked” (Luke 8:45)

From: March 30, 2012

Many in the crowds pressed in to touch Jesus, but He noticed the woman who touched Him in faith. Jesus still takes notice of those who reach out to Him believing. Why not reach out to Him now?

“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come” (Psalm 71:18)

From: March 30, 2011

Leave a spiritual legacy. Be known among your children and grandchildren as a sold-out, Christ-follower! Nothing else really matters!