At church one Sunday here in Cambodia, a Christian Khmer woman encouraged us with how Matthew 6:25 has played out in her life, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear…” She told us of her poverty, and how she and her husband struggle to survive on their salaries. She makes $30 a month as a Kindergarten teacher…a month y’all, and he makes about the same as a Tuk Tuk driver. It rains a lot here in Cambodia, but during a dry spell, all of the rain water in the cistern outside was gone. She had no money to buy water for the family and she remembers standing over the cistern and praying for rain.
And it immediately started to rain.
As I sat there listening to her praise God for His unending love for her, I thought about how different her prayers are than mine…the prayer of the one who has instead of the one who has not. I already KNOW where my food, drink, and clothes are coming from. I don’t beg God to send me the necessities of life because I have excess.
Instead of skimming over this beautiful verse in Matthew 6:25 because it doesn’t relate to my situation, maybe I should speak this verse as a prayer. To ask Father to lead me to the people who don’t have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear, and to help me be bold enough to be the answer to someone’s prayer.
Many times we compare ourselves to others who have more, instead of the other way around. Even the working poor in America have it better than most who are suffering with poverty in other countries. American homeless populations even have options like shelters and food banks, whereas the poor and displaced in some foreign countries have no options but starvation and death. What do you do if you lost both hands in an electrical accident, your wife leaves you with the children, and you no longer have a way to make a living in a third world country? This is a true example of a local beggar living here in our Cambodian city.
You can’t really say you are a friend of Jesus unless you are helping the poor. Take for example the sheep and the goats, a story with a warning from Jesus. (fact check: Matthew 25:31-48) The goats didn’t seem to “get” Jesus. They missed the kindness characteristic of the Holy Spirit. (fact check: Galatians 5:22) Maybe they thought about helping, but never had any follow through. At any rate, Jesus says, “When you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.”
So how can you help your children develop a desire to give? You must first develop that desire yourself, then go forth together. Start by praying that God will consume you with a BIG kind of love for others. Have you read Love Does by Bob Goff yet? Each chapter tells a story from Bob’s life, then ends with a spiritual application. The beginning of each chapter starts with “I used to think…but now I know…” Join me on the Sanctified Tourist’s Facebook page in January while I share quotes from this book to encourage and inspire you.
Next, search the Internet for ideas on projects you can do with your children and grandchildren. Here is an idea for a project from Story of This Life. Good literature can also help. The King’s Christmas List takes Matthew 25:31-48 and teaches children that every act of compassion is a gift for Jesus. Maybe you could write your own family giving book using a photo book company.
I will leave you with this video that shows a little girl overcome with compassion for a homeless man outside the restaurant where she was eating, and then DOING something about it. click here Father, lead me to the people who don’t have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear, and to help me be bold enough to be the answer to someone’s prayer. (Matthew 6:25)
Note: all the scriptures I used today in my post were straight from Jesus)
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