The Blessing of Giving: A rising light

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…and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. – Isaiah 58:10-11
Who are the oppressed and hungry? All too often, we think of far away people in faraway places. If this is all the involvement we have with the hungry and oppressed, we are missing the point. Isaiah teaches us to ‘spend yourself on the hungry’ and ‘satisfy the needs of the oppressed’. We’re told to get involved in a way that goes beyond just giving money. If we are to meet people’s needs in a way that consumes us, then we need to get involved on a personal basis. We need to meet people where they need us most—to pour ourselves into meeting their needs physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Where are the hungry and oppressed? Sitting next to us in church, at our children’s football practice, in our backyard – anywhere there are people. It’s amazing that God uses the act of us pouring ourselves out for the needy as an avenue for blessing us. He promises light for our darkness, guidance when we feel lost, strength when we feel weak, and water for our parched lips.

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