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Topic: Poor (10/25/04)
TITLE: Seeing the Heart of the Poor
By bobbi richardson
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The funny thing was that at the end of the month somehow everything got paid for and we were never hungry. I never thought of us as poor. I always thought we were blessed. I knew it wasnít anything I did that got us through the month.
This summer my daughter went on a mission trip to Mexico with our youth group. Twenty American kids were introduced to a family of five that actually lives on $50 a week. They were there to build a two-room house for this family whose home was a shelter made of scraps of wood and anything else they could find. Some people would see this family as poor.
What made a lasting impression on each one of those teenagers? Every day the father went to the local store and bought them all sodas for lunch because he wanted to do something to show his gratitude. Thatís true generosity. This man is not poor.
Jesus once pointed out a widow who put all she had into the temple offering. We donít know her name. Some people only saw a poor widow.
By one simple ordinary act, without knowing it, she was immortalized in Godís word as a lesson to Jesusí disciples.
Why did He call His followers over to watch as a poor widow presented her offering? I think it was because He saw so much in her beyond the lack of material possessions. He saw her courage in putting in all she had. He saw her faith and obedience in giving to the work of the temple as God commanded. He saw her love and devotion in offering what she had willingly, not out of a sense of duty. He was able to see into her heart and He liked what He saw.
Generosity. Courage. Trust. Devotion. Obedience. These are characteristics that Jesus wants to develop in all of His followers. He wanted His disciples then and now to see that itís not material things that make us rich or poor, but our character. Itís not the outside that counts, but whatís in the heart.