For Them

They cannot speak for themselves,

and so you speak

 

They cannot do for themselves,

and so you do for them

 

They cannot pay,

you give

 

They cannot fight,

you march

 

They are destitute

victims

marginalized

poor

young

mute

alone

 

and passed by

 

But you

with your indwelling Hope

 

YOU are the hands

and the feet

and the voice

and the justice

 

for each one

 

knowing that YOU

were the one in need

 

when your Savior

left heaven to save you

 

He spoke for you

He fought for you

He did what you could not do

when he died to save you

 

And He paid

when you could not pay….

 

His heart for those in desperate need

replaced your heart of stone

 

and so you march

and you speak

and you pay

and you do

 

for the least

and the mute crying

 

– Susie Stewart

 

**Inspired by my daughter’s prayer march against human trafficking today.  We each need to take a look at ourselves and ask what we are doing for someone who cannot do or speak for themselves.  

 

 

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.

– Proverbs 31:8 (NLT)

 

Learn to do good;  commit yourselves to seeking justice.  Make right for the world’s most vulnerable – the oppressed, the orphaned, the widow.  

– Isaiah 1:17 (VOICE)

 

Stand up of the poor and the orphan;  advocate for the rights of the afflicted and those in need.

– Psalm 82:3 (VOICE)

 

Real, true religion from God the Father’s perspective is about caring for the orphans and widows who suffer needlessly and resisting the evil influence of the world.

– James1:27 (VOICE)

 

Jesus said – The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He has anointed Me to bring Good News to the poor.  He has sent Me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.

– Luke 4:18, 19 (NLT)

 

And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you.  I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

– Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT)

 

Then these righteous ones will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see You hungry and feed You?  Or thirsty and give You something to drink?  Or a stranger and who You hospitality?  Or naked and give You clothing?  When did we ever see You sick or in prison and visit You?”

And the King will say, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sister, you were doing it to Me!”  

– Matthew 25:37-40 (NLT)

Photo by John Butler

It’s a Secret

I like to get to the point.  I’m not one for a lot of small talk.  I like the way Jesus gets to the point.

I’ve been reading His teachings when he spoke to crowds from a mountainside.  It’s the part in Matthew where my Bible’s pages are covered in red print, the words of my Savior.  Matthew 5, 6 and 7 are sectioned into tidy topics.  With good reason.  There do seem to be distinct topics.  But when I look at those chapters as a whole, I see that one of the many underlying themes is secrecy.  Jesus makes it plain as day that we need to do things in secret.  When we give to the needy, when we pray, when we fast, it shouldn’t ever be to gain attention from people.  All of it should be directed toward God, to draw us closer to Him, and to bring Him glory.

“Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be see by them…when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the street, to be honored by men…do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.”

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men…but when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen…”

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting…when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father , who is unseen…”

And then the promise that is in all three sections:

“…then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

I want to get to the place where I only care what God thinks!  Sure it’s good to be aware of how people perceive me, but I want to only care if I have the approval of the King of Glory.  If I am doing what I know He approves of, then my interactions with people will  follow suit.  “By their fruit you will recognize them,” it says in Matthew 7.  I’m not recognized by people as a follower of Jesus by my eloquent prayers, or how I give to those in need, or my fasting practices.  I’m recognized by supernatural fruit.  Yes, supernatural.  Sounds tasty, and it is.  Supernatural fruit in a person’s life, evidence that Christ lives in them, is visible to Believer and Non.  It is the sweetness of a loving God.  It shows where our hearts are.

Vine, branch, fruit.

Secrecy, promise, reward.

Simple, right?  Not so much.  We are creatures that typically like to draw attention to ourselves.

Lord, less of me and more of You!  Let my actions, words and thoughts be full of you and let the “overflow of my heart” be evidence of my time with You, for Your glory, and Yours alone.  I love you, Jesus.

– Susie Stewart