Exodus 11:1-12:21, Luke 14, Job 29, 1 Corinthians 15

Luke 14:12-14

Jesus’ point about who to invite to a luncheon seems to be "Who do you help?"  Jesus said when you help those who cannot repay, you will be blessed and your repayment will be "at the resurrection of the righteous".  Obviously, this repayment will be from God Himself. 

The Bible repeatedly makes the point that true obedience includes care for those less fortunate than yourself.  James 1:27 says, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this:  to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world".  In Isaiah 58:4-7, God does not respond to the Israelite's prayers because of the way they treat the less fortunate.  In the previous verse, the people have complained because God is not responsive to their fasting.  God responds by telling them the manner of their fast is wrong.  They fast for pleasure, oppress employees, quarrel and fight.  God tells them He responds to fasts that:  Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you; let the oppressed go free; remove the chains that bind people; share your food with the hungry; give shelter to the homeless; give clothes to those who need them; and do not hide from relatives who need help.  1 John 3:17 (NLT) describes it this way, "If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion — how can God's love be in that person?"

Job 29:1-25

Job, like many of us, remembers the "good old" days, the prime of life when everything seemed to go well.  Notice what Job misses about the prime of his life.  He did receive accolades but in verse 12, Job gives the reasons for the honor he received by listing those he helped:  the poor, the fatherless, those about to perish, the widow, the blind, the lame, the needy, those he did not know and he comforted those who mourned.  Job used his wealth and position to defend those who were easy prey of the unrighteous.  It's as if he had taken to heart what Jesus said in Luke 14:12-14. 

Father, forgive me for using Your blessing, both affluence and influence, to benefit me and mine.  May my heart increasingly become like Job's.  If praise is to come to me, it would be because of my care for those who are not in a position to care for themselves.  May I be one who protects against unrighteousness.

1 Corinthians 15:58

"Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you, always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."  Paul comes to this statement of encouragement after explaining the amazing reality of the resurrected body of the believer.  God has not just forgiven those who "live by faith", He has made them the promise of the "hope of glory".  Part of that glory is a body that is raised imperishable, in glory, in power and is spiritual.  1 John 3:2 says it this way, "Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is".  Wow, that is something to look forward to!  It is also the reason to "stand firm.. always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord".

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