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Night Whispers - June 29

  • 2020 Jun 29

Night Whispers Devotional

June 29th

Dream word – GOODNESS

James 1:27

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

The touching and the turning of Hickory Holler's tramp

It was Dallas Frazier, former cotton picker from Spiro Oklahoma that wrote the old country song, “The Son of Hickory Holler’s Tramp,”. a beautiful and thought provoking country ballad first sung by OC Smith and later by Kenny Rogers and then others. Essentially, the song is the story of a mother of fourteen children “forced” into prostitution when deserted by her husband. Don’t you just love country music! One of the verses reads like this:

When daddy left and destitution came upon our family
Not one neighbour volunteered to give a helpin' hand
So let 'em gossip all they want, she loved us and she raised us
The proof is standin' here, a full-grown man

Ah! Wonderful country mush maybe, however, this ballad verse makes a stunning social comment: “When no help is at hand, people will do whatever they can to get by!” God is fully aware of this and even while upholding social justice, allows for some gracious understanding in this when He says, “People do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy himself when he is starving. Yet when he is found, he must restore sevenfold; He may have to give up all the substance of his house.” (Proverbs 6:30-31 NKJV) There is no excuse for sin here but there is understanding. Jesus understands. Do you see that? I do wonder, if when we stand before our Maker, that it is the makers of the social climate of sin, more than the practioners of it which might have much more to account for than they realise? I wonder.

It seems to me then, that not only individuals but whole communities, even vast societies also participate in the laws of sowing, reaping and reciprocation. Suffice to say, that if we do not make provision for people to survive and provide for their own, then we must be prepared for the consequences! No friend, I am not a bleeding heart liberal, I am a follower of Christ, who clearly defines for us what “pure religion” before Him actually is and like it or not, it has a social face as well as a sinless one.

There are of course many mountainous problems to be navigated through and around but even so, this ship of social justice must set sail and as far I read, this ship of social justice is under the command of Christ and His followers, not world government. No sir, this ship is crewed by the church and not the world. I hear some of you cry “Social Gospel! Social Gospel!” and my reply again is, “Well of course it is, go and read your Bible!”

Pure religion is getting involved with and loving the impure. Undefiled religion is touching the terribly defiled and giving them a helping hand. Religion then, pure and undefiled, is found in engaging the mess that is humanity. We have to start doing this better. It is not a cheery thought but I must tell you that tonight whilst you sleep, tens of thousands in this world will still die of starvation, others will be blasted into eternity and still thousands of others more, shall be robbed of their goods, robbed of their virginity, robbed of their goals, robbed of their families, robbed of their dreams and their loves and consequently, will die in an hapless hopelessness.

We have a lot to be thankful for here in the West, chiefly the gift of possibility. Here we at least have the hope of a better tomorrow. Tonight as you go to sleep then, remember that all things are possible in the touching and changing of other folks who are themselves, desperate for help and change. May I challenge you to think on this and on the morrow, maybe look into choosing one social project to get involved in and then, to do it with all your might in the name and with the love of Jesus. Whether it is local or whether it is international, take the Gospel to the poverty stricken and give them a helping hand. Let’s show the world that good neighbours have not disappeared from the face of the earth. Let’s make Jesus proud of us!

When daddy left and destitution came upon our family
Not one neighbour volunteered to give a helpin' hand

Listen: My beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? But you have dishonoured the poor man. Do not the rich oppress you and drag you into the courts? Do they not blaspheme that noble name by which you are called? If you really fulfil the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself,’ you do well.’” - James 2:5-8  NKJV

Pray: No doubt Lord many of us tonight shall go to bed filled again with the recipients of Your bounty in all its many forms. Tonight as well, many others shall go to bed hungry and wake to face another day of desperateness. Have mercy upon me O Lord and strengthen me through the night in preparation for the morrow, when according to Your will and abundant mercy, I shall rise with the Son and be the good neighbour I most certainly should be. Amen and amen!

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