Verse 17: He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given.
After scheduling an appointment with the loan officer of a major bank, the poor farmer came with his plea for money. The loan officer looked at the way the man was dressed and only followed up with a glance at the farmer's paper work as an act of formality. He knew there was no way he was going to loan him any money. With his nose in the air, the banker informed the farmer that it would be impossible for him to get money from any bank and that he should just forget about it. He informed the banker that he had a co-signer that could guarantee the loan. Knowing the man could not have friends that would be of worth to guarantee the money, he began to get aggravated with the farmer for waisting his time. He sharply scolded the farmer and informed him that he had more important business to tend to. After several attempts to convince the banker, the man was asked to leave the bank. The banker was excited about his next appointment. It was a rich man that was expected to bring a large amount of money into the bank. So much money that it would save the bankers struggling numbers that threatened his job. After sitting the rich man down and offering him something cold to drink, the rich man requested something different. He asked how his brother had been treated earlier that day. He told the banker of his brother that needed money to save his farm and how he ensured his brother that he would guarantee the loan. Of course, as you may have guessed, the banker didn't get the rich man's business and lost his job soon after.
Although I made the story up, I believe it's lesson is still of great value. Today's "gold nugget" tells us that when we give to the poor, you can consider it a loan to the Lord and know for sure that He will pay it back. We have a tendency to avoid giving or loaning based on how secure the loan is. Giving to the poor cannot be anymore secure than giving or loaning of any other avenue. When we give, trust that the Lord will not let you go hungry. He will ensure you your provisions. Consider Jesus' words in Luke 6:30, "Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back." Consider your charity as an offering unto the Lord and do not concern yourself with getting it back from the poor. If you give to the poor expecting it in return, then you have not really given anything. All you have done is let them hold it for you. Give and ask nothing in return. That is the character of Christ. Do you reflect His character?
Lord, thank you for reminding me that my offering to the poor is guaranteed by you. I do not have to fear whether or not my gifts are secure. You are my guarantee. Thank you for your provisions. Amen