I was traveling recently and while stopping for a short time in New Mexico a disheveled man in his late 40's walked up and asked if I could give him some money for food. I know that very often when they ask for money for food, they are actually going to use the money for alcohol or other harmful practices. But years ago I made the decision to "err on the side of giving" when it comes to those kinds of situations because of the many times Jesus exhorted us to "give to the poor." I well remember how the rich man would not give the beggar Lazarus the crumbs from his table and I never want to fall into that camp. I remember the Word of God when it says,
Luk 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
Act 20:35 I have shewed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
It is not unusual to be approached once in a while by someone who is begging for money. But this time I witnessed something that I had never seen before. After I gave the man a few dollars, he had not taken ten steps away from me before another man started begging from him. The scene is … one man begging from another beggar. I spent the night in a motel there and noticed there was a sign at the check-in desk that read, "Do Not Give To Solicitors." The next morning I rose up early and walked to my car just after sunrise. Even at that hour of the morning I could not walk from the motel entrance to my car door (a distance of perhaps fifty feet) without being approached by another beggar. I then understood why the motel asked their patrons not to give … it would soon be known throughout the city that the motel was a good place to beg for money and they would have swarms of beggars in their parking lots.
My heart aches for those people. I have been so blessed in my life to never have had to go to bed hungry. Sure, Sue and I have had lean times. There have been times in our life when we lived by purchasing our clothes and furniture at garage sales. The first year of our ministry was so lean financially that we went a solid year without ever having enough extra to purchase just one hamburger at a restaurant. But we have never been in a position where we have had to beg. I have thought much about those sad, hopeless faces of the people begging for food in the parking lots. Jesus died for them. He loves them. He made a way for them to become joint heirs with Him. They need so much more than just handouts. They need the gospel. They need hope. They need to feel "alive" again. They need to find out there is another source of provision than just the economy. God is our Source, our Provider, our Strength, our High Tower. I can hear the Word of God shouting:
Psa 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
Psa 34:6-10 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. 8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. 9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. 10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.
I remember in the early days of our ministry, Psalm 34:10 was one of the verses that the Holy Spirit instructed me to spend hours a day confessing over and over again. It was a form of meditation of the Word and as I spoke the Word of God over and over again, little by little, the understanding was not only revealed to me … it literally became part of me. The Word of God is our spiritual food and "we are what we eat."
What is more powerful than a lion in the prime of his life? God has equipped the lion with those powerful, muscled legs to pounce upon the prey. His yellow eyes see keenly and the sharp teeth and claws bring terror to any animal that comes under attack. Of all the animals on earth, the lion is especially equipped to be "self sufficient." Yet, there might be times of drought which produce famine, or perhaps a fire that would cause even the lion to be faced with times where it could not provide for itself. Even the lion at times might suffer lack and hunger.
But the promise to those who put their trust in the Lord, who seek His face and honor Him … they shall NOT WANT [Hebrew = Lack] any good thing. No matter how bad the economy gets, no matter whether it is war, drought, or famine … our God makes a way where there is no way. He has not forgotten the recipe for Manna and I have no doubt it would once more appear like the dew every morning if His children needed it.
America is in trouble. I have little hope for political solutions to solve her problems. America needs revival. A life changing, nation changing … REVIVAL. We need another GREAT AWAKENING that not only revives the people in our church buildings, but also makes it to the parking lots of the cities like the one in New Mexico where those precious people are begging for food.
I cannot help but pray for the people in this country who do not have sufficient to meet their needs. Sue and I can't go everywhere and feed everybody … but we can do our part to send the gospel free by every means we know how. Every time you help us send the teachings, who knows how far it will reach.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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