I know that when it comes to giving our time and effort to the poor, it is often disregarded. Even our family doesn’t always have much love shown to them when they are desperate and truly need help. I know this to be true as I used to be the kind of person that turned away family members in need. This was before going all in for Jesus, but still, I have no excuse for what happened. The story goes like this… About twelve years ago, my wives sister moved. She didn’t have a ton of money and I simply wanted cheaper rent. So I went ahead and asked them to stay with us while only trying to make a buck out of it all. My door was not truly open to them and every day I was pushing her out with my words. I also told my wife that she had to go or else, even though it was helping her sister financially. I then argument my point with my wife. It wasn’t until after many arguments that I made an ultimatum, that I would leave if she didn’t. And long story short, I won the argument and she was left to fend for herself. Another sister of hers also was staying for a time and by my arrogance, I pushed her and her husband out too.
Now many years went by, but it wasn’t until today that God convicted me of my wrongs. It was while reading in Leviticus 25 that God spoke directly to my sins. Everything in the chapter was fine until verses 35 and 36 were read. Then, the words jumped out to me in a big way. It reads, 1“if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.” 1“I am the Lord your God”. Yes, it was God that convicted me. It is hard to explain but when I read this, God pierced my heart and I was instantly saddened for what I had done. I was so wrong to treat my wife and her sisters the way I did. I also should not have asked for any rent from them but I did anyways. After knowing this , I went to my wife first and told her sorry for being rude to her and her sisters. I told her that I should have allowed them in and showed them kindness and hoped she’d forgive me. It was then that she was shocked and said, “I should have recorded you saying that”. However, this time it was sincere and I explained to her that if anyone has a need to stay with us, like the past, I will now jump on the chance to welcome them in.
Now, with my wives sisters, they have moved to a different state and are now two hours ahead of us. However, I knew that my apology could not wait another day, especially after reading those verses. So I texted them the following…. “I know it’s been a long time since you all stayed at our house but I want you both to know how bad I feel about the way I treated you at the time. I should have simply allowed you in the home and showed love to you both but I was rude. Instead, I argued with my wife about it so many times. I can’t tell you how sorry I feel about this. I feel God has convicted me of this wrong and I hope you both will forgive me.” It is my prayer that they respond back to me and that I can also talk to them more on the phone about this. I will tell you this… I felt pretty good about my walk with God until I read the Bible today. Then I knew that there were still issues that needed fixed. Bridges needed to be mended and apologies needed to be said. Even forgiveness was asked, in order to me to go forward with my life and leave these incidents in the past. Now, I know that we should not hold onto things in the past, especially if we have already repented of it. However, this I had forgotten about for years until today.
Now before God convicted me of my sins, I had been sitting down praying and asking for His guidance. It was then that the Lord had me read more from Leviticus, chapter 25. Isn’t it so interesting how God works in our lives. He knows exactly what our needs are and what we need to do to find closure for things in life. For me, it was telling my wife and her sisters that I was sorry. Doing this got things off my chest that I didn’t even realize was there. However, now I know the reason why her sisters act the way they do around me. It is in direct response to how I treated them, so I pray that our friendships will again be renewed and there will be forgiveness on both sides. Lastly, here is what God has taught me through His Word… If a family member is poor and needs a place to stay, do not push them away, but open your doors to them, for thus saith the Lord. Allow God to move you to be more hospitable and loving towards one another. This is the love of the Lord shining through us. I surely missed the mark on doing this in the past but I pray that I will not make this mistake again. It is my heart’s desire to show love and kindness towards all people, including those in need. I know we all make mistakes in life and many of you can relate to my story. I just hope and pray that you have been moved by this message and allow God’s love to start moving in your life in a new way as well.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I am so grateful that You have spoken to me through Your words, this night. I needed Your guidance and direction and You laid it on me through reading Leviticus, chapter 25. I am so glad that I had this conviction to read and go forth and do it. I would have never known that there were still things in my closet that needed to be thrown out. Even broken relationships needed mended and Your Word taught me how. In the past, I know that I made many mistakes. One being, tossing my wives sisters out of our house and being so mean to them by words and deeds. Oh how cold I was towards my wives own flesh and blood, and I am so sorry Lord. As I have told my wife and her sisters sorry, this day, I pray that You will also forgive me. You have convicted me of my wrongs and I want to come to You now and tell You that I am sorry. Please be merciful, oh Lord. You have taught me a lesson about my past and I pray that I will not make the same mistakes again. Help me to always live in Your light, oh Lord. May I show true kindness and hospitality towards everyone I meet. Especially family, may I serve them, oh Lord, as You love me. I pray that Your love will shine through me and into other people’s lives. You are my God and I only want to follow You and do Your will. I love You Lord. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.
1Leviticus 25:35-38 (KJV)
35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee.
36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee.
37 Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase.
38 I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, and to be your God.