May 24, Thursday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“God’s Love for the Marginalized”

Jeremiah 5:26-31 

“For wicked men are found among My people, they watch like fowlers lying in wait; they set a trap, they catch men. 27 Like a cage full of birds, so their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich. 28 They are fat, they are sleek, they also excel in deeds of wickedness; they do not plead the cause, the cause of the orphan, that they may prosper; and they do not defend the rights of the poor. 29 Shall I not punish these people?” declares the Lord, “On a nation such as this shall I not avenge Myself? 30 An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land: 31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule on their own authority; And My people love it so! But what will you do at the end of it?” 

Sometime last summer, I was at our church office working especially late preparing for three large events, when I heard our church doorbell ring. Assuming it was a fellow staff member who might have forgotten their keys, I unassumingly opened the door to find a homeless man covered in soot. Startled, but concerned, I asked the man if he needed food or water. He politely declined and simply asked if I had socks in the building. Upon looking at his feet, I noticed that he was bleeding on his foot; yet not having any clothes at our office, the man asked if I could call an ambulance for him. Soon after, the paramedics and police arrived; and upon seeing the man, they began to interrogate him without ever asking if he was hurt.  Their first words were, “Why are you so dirty?” It was an absolutely heartbreaking experience to see the people who took an oath to serve and protect the community marginalize this man without a concern for his health—simply because of his state.

In this passage we see God particularly emphasize Judah’s lack of concern for the orphans and the poor. He declares them wicked in their plans to marginalize the needy for their personal benefit. Amongst the long list of Judah’s sin, God highlights the injustice of the marginalized, and asks how He could leave this sin unpunished.

God’s concern for the weak, poor, and hurting are the top of God’s concern. While it may be easy to pass by the homeless and to think there is little we can do to help the orphans and hurting, God calls us to be the light of the world. To be the light and solution to the world, we must be the same channel of love and hope that saved us from our own sins. Let us take time from our day today to find ways to be the light in the areas of darkness around us.

Prayer: God, I thank You for Your love that saved a wretch like me. Help me to realize Your love is the only one that can save. Help me to be the agent of love with the love You poured out to me. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Bible Reading for Today: James 4 


Lunch Break Study 

Read Matthew 25:31-40: When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” 37 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” 40 The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Questions to Consider

  1. What does God require of His children to receive their inheritance in full?
  2. How does God associate Himself with the needy?
  3. Take some time to think about a group of people that may be difficult for you to love. What are some obstacles you need to overcome to love them? 

Notes

  1. God requires His children to do acts of service in tending to those in need.
  2. God states that what one does for the sick, hungry, and imprisoned is the same as what they do for Him.
  3. Personal response.

Evening Reflection

Today we spoke on God’s call to all believers to serve, love, and defend the marginalized in our society. Take time to reflect on your day. Did you take time out of your day to find ways to show love and be a light to the world? If not, tomorrow is a new day, but think of ways you can show the love God to those who may need it.

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