By Josh Gamradt
This week I was moved by my friend Joshua's blog. Josh attended Freshwater for several years then had to relocate for his job, but while here Josh modeled loving others and ministering to the homeless. He enjoys taking homeless people out for lunch on his lunch break and showing them how much he values them. Thanks for your words Josh!
Isaiah 58:10 "If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday."
Hunger is one of the biggest and most preventable issues in our day and age. According to the World Food Program (WFP), Some 805 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth, Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year, and in 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. The crazy thing is, hunger has been an issue forever. These statistics are staggering to me, however, biblical hunger was just as real. Deuteronomy 15:11 tells us "For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, you shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land."
God is telling us, this opportunity to shine our light for Him, to show grace and mercy on His behalf in this world where darkness is prevalent, will never cease to exist. Hunger and affliction will always be here, and God does not command us to ignore it, because we won't be able to break the existence of hunger, but He commands us to "open wide your hand"
It is a little difficult for me to give to the homeless person downtown, especially after seeing the 20/20 show, where it shows these "homeless" people begging all day, then getting up and driving away in a fancy car, living out a luxurious life, feeding off the mercy we are asked to give, but also taking away from those that truly need it. But at some point, I must become an adult about this, and look at the big picture, that those fakes do not represent the hungry in this world, they represent the evil in this world that wants us to turn away from what God commands of us. There unfortunate act does not diminish the fact that there are millions of others that are truly homeless, hungry, and afflicted. Those individuals represented on 20/20 will have their day of judgment with God, however, how we act and represent the commandment of God will also fall upon us in judgment.
God has commanded us to "open wide your hand", "then shall your light rise in the darkness." Meditate on this verse with me for a moment, Matthew 25:45 "Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me." We must understand that we are presented with opportunities to feed the hungry every day and there will be those that misrepresent the mercies we provide. We must be smart and spiritually discerning, and prayerfully give to those that we see in need. There will be times we judge incorrectly and someone will misuse our generosity, but there will be more times that you will be giving to someone who truly needs it.
My fellow brothers and sisters, let "your light rise in the darkness" and as Philippians 2:15 says, "Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky."
God's peace to all of you - Joshua
Colossians 3:17 "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.