Thursday, May 26, 2016
My wife and I were in an area of town we don’t often frequent, and near the store where we were shopping we noticed a young couple sitting near the curb looking very down and out. To us, they appeared to be the type that illegally ride the trains coming from Central America and Mexico and somehow manage to make it all the way to San Antonio. They looked very tired, worn, hungry, all alone in the world, and had a look of despair and dejection on their faces. It looked as if this was there first day here. They had a well-worn piece of small luggage and all the time they were sitting on the curb, the young lady was leaning her head on the man’s shoulder. To their credit, they were not out in the street corner begging for money. They didn’t have to. I’m sure many did what we did. We made it a point to go by where they were sitting after we left the store and left them a very generous donation. Well, yesterday, we were in the same area and this couple was sitting in the exact spot where we saw them about a month ago and they looked exactly as they did then. My wife and I both spotted them at the same time and we, of course, looked at each other with a surprised look on our face. Even before we said anything, the first thing that popped into my mind was the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Deception is the oldest sin on record and one of the cruelest. With it, the serpent was able to trick Eve into chomping on forbidden fruit and the rest is history. I often wonder about folks who make it a habit to beg for money at busy intersections. What percentage of them are on the level? Do they have any self respect? Do they not fear God? I may never find out, but I think if I was ever in the desperate situation these folks seem to be in, I would probably starve to death before I would resort to begging for money. In fact, I take this verse as a promise of God to all His children: David wrote: “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” (Psalm 37:25) Paul later wrote that God will always supply the needs, not greeds, of His children. ( See Philippians 4:19)
People who are out in the world intentionally deceiving others are probably not aware that they, like everyone else, will one day have to stand before the Lord to give an account of everything they have ever done in this world. They face a very horrifying destiny. The world is full of deceivers of all kinds , so may God give us the grace and wisdom to deal with them if and when we meet up with them, and also as we continue to be generous to those poor folks who really need it.
Memory verse for the week: (James 5:16 NIV) “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”