Wednesday, February 14

God’s heart; Paul’s heart

Scripture: Leviticus 23-24, Psalm 24, Acts 21

Leviticus 23:22 When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap all the way to the edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the foreign resident;  I am the Lord your God.

Acts 21:13 Then Paul replied, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Observation

Two things:

First, God commands the Israelites to leave some gleanings behind when they harvest—leave them for the poor and foreign residents.  This command is repeated in other places in the law (eg: Leviticus 19:9-10, Deuteronomy 24:19-21), and shows God’s concern for the poor and foreigner.  Everyone is part of the solution; everyone helps by sharing what they have rather than keeping it all for themselves.

Second, Paul is a stud!  He is repeatedly told that trouble awaits him in Jerusalem, but he presses forward anyway.  He is willing not only to suffer, but to die for Jesus.  Great commitment, great courage.

Application

Caring for the poor is not just the job of the government—all of us get to help.  And if all of us share what we have, the needs will be met.  Those with little can share a little; those with a lot can share a lot.  It’s not quite as simple as it was in OT times—leaving some gleanings behind—but each of us can find beneficial ways to share with those in need.

And I want to be all in, like Paul!

Prayer: Lord, I love your heart for the poor and oppressed; give me, give us more of Your heart.  And I love Paul’s heart for You—help me to be all in for Jesus!