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And the Poor...

Daily Reading: Matthew 11

Scripture Focus: ... and the poor have good news preached to them. (Matthew 11.5)

Devotional Thought: Have you ever had doubts? I would venture to say that everybody has. At least everybody who is human! John the Baptist had doubts. Though he was a man used of God to prepare the way for Jesus, and though he had spent his entire life in doing just that, and though he had seen great multitudes repent and come into the kingdom - still John felt doubts. In the darkness of prison, he sent word to Jesus asking, "Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?”

Jesus did not leave his friend and cousin in darkness. He told John's messengers, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them." Those were signs of the Messiah. All great signs, but the climactic sign was this: preaching the good news to the poor.

Do we place such a high importance on reaching the poor?

My particular "tribe" is Nazarene. The Church of the Nazarene was founded as a mission to the poor of Los Angeles. The name 'Nazarene' itself was taken by the founders as representative of the humble origins of Christ in the despised town of Nazareth. Like Jesus the Nazarene, the Church of the Nazarene has focused as Jesus did on the neglected quarters of society. As we grow and become 'successful', however, it is easy to get away from such a mission.

Whether Baptist or Presbyterian, Methodist or Lutheran, Catholic or Nazarene, let us never neglect preaching the good news of Jesus to the poor!

Prayer: Father, thank you that you sent your Son to be born in a humble stable and to be raised in a spurned community. You have shown that you will accept even me! Help me to always take on the qualities of The Nazarene and reach the humblest members of society with the love of God. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God! 2 For behold, your enemies make an uproar; those who hate you have raised their heads. 3 They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. 4 They say, "Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more!" 5 For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant-- 6 the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites, 7 Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre; 8 Asshur also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah (Psalms 83:1-8)

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