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Tuesday, March 1, 2016

PSALM 37 continued...
 
 
 
"Better is a little of the righteous
Than the abundance of many wicked...
But the Lord sustains the righteous.
The Lord knows the days of the blameless
And their inheritance will be forever.
They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,
And in the days of famine
They will have abundance.
But the wicked will perish;
And the enemies of the Lord will be
like the glory of the pastures (flowers),
They vanish--like smoke they vanish away.
The wicked borrows and does not pay back
But the righteous is gracious and gives.
For those blessed by Him will inherit the land."
(verses 16-21)

 
 "The first temptation by which many pious souls are troubled
is the power the cruelty,  and the implacable hatred, of wicked men.
The other temptation is beggary and poverty,
than which nothing is more afflictive.
The ungodly swim in wealth;
but the godly are commonly poor;
and therefore exposed to contempt;
for poverty reckons up no reputable genealogy..
'Better is a little of the righteous...' 
Better, because used better;
better, because possessed with contentment;
better, because it has God's blessing upon it...
And yet there is another blessing on the good man's little;
he has often over and above, and something to spare to give;
whereas the wicked is a borrower,
with this bad quality, that he payeth not...
they may have, but not enjoy the goods of this life."
 

 
Generosity verse 21
 
"Because he has received mercy from God;
therefore he shews mercy to men.
And even to his enemies he sheweth mercy, and giveth;
his heart is disposed to it by the influence of Divine grace
and his hand being enabled to do it
by the blessings of God's providence."


 
We never rolled in the dough, if you know what I mean.  But we have been blessed beyond measure.  In some seasons we had plenty while in others, we lived a pinched life.  In high school I had five ensembles to choose from every week, one a day without variation, most of which I purchased myself.  We married young and lived on nothing, but were happy.  Eating out was rare; even fast food was not in the budget.  I used powdered milk because it was cheaper.  My wardrobe was not as good as the ones I taught in the inner city sometimes.  When we went to our first pastorate, there were twenty-five people there who were as generous as they could be, but it didn't stretch very far.  I choose to be a stay at home mom with the financial restraints that entailed.  How well I remember the despair when I had racked up $30 on a credit card with no way to pay it back in our tight budget.  I had to remind myself that the verse did not go, "I will look to my mailbox from whence cometh my help," but that "my help cometh from the Lord." 

 

 
 My, my, my.  Now I have such a stuffed house with stuff that it is embarrassing, closets full, cupboards full, and garage full.  I have found that stuff does not make me rich.  Counting my blessings does.  John Wesley used to say, "Make all you can, save all you can, and give all you can."  That's when living with a "hand out," means not begging, but giving.  It's like my son's prayer at three...

 
"Dear Jesus, we have two pennies and love in our heart for you."
 


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