Matthew 8:20 – Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. (NIV)
John 14:2a – In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. (NIV)
Until recently, I have not given much thought to the serious problem of homelessness facing so many individuals and families. The threat of being homeless, however, has now has touched the life of a family who is dear to me. Realizing that their church has offered little support or encouragement, I am compelled to examine my own attitude toward those in this unfortunate situation.
Considering the life and ministry of our Lord, I am reminded that He was acquainted with our grief. He, too, can identify with the displacement and rejection which accompanies those whose lives have been affected by this hardship. Who but Jesus has more insight, compassion, and understanding for the plight of the homeless? However, while caring for the physical needs of the poor, the focus of Jesus' mission was to proclaim the good news of God's kingdom — a heavenly home where there are enough rooms for everyone.
The problem of homelessness is a crisis that tugs at the very heart of the Gospel. While the causes are diverse and difficult to overcome, by God's grace, many success stories have also been reported. I read about one ministry in particular whose outreach is geared toward homeless men: Living Water of Washington DC. In this case, volunteers give of their time and knowledge, teaching men the skills to be productive members of society, in turn enabling them to support their families. Not only do they benefit materially, but through this discipleship plan, built on the foundation of biblical principles, they can experience the wonderful reality of the Gospel expressed in Isaiah 55:1 — "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!" (NIV)
Clearly, there is a need for more churches to get involved and provide a variety of mentorship and training programs with the potential to offer hope and support for the homeless. As a result, many blessings would be gained and the rewards invaluable.
Prayer: Father, we give You honour for the ministry of Jesus rendered during His lifetime here on this earth. Thank You for our opportunity to extend that ministry as members of His body, Your church. May we feel the urgency of those in need, follow Your Spirit's leading, and be moved by His power. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional