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      Who Are the Homeless?

      Friday, April 6, 2007

      I agree wholeheartedly that we should help the homeless. This is not a matter of debate. In order to help the homeless, however, we must know who the homeless are. These are two definitions I found on Google of the word:

      1) people who are homeless; "the homeless lived on the city streets"

      2) Homelessness is a situation in which a person does not have a permanent place of residence.

      Well, now that we have a definition of "homeless", who exactly are these people. As with anything, there are two ways of interpreting a given meaning, but only one is true. There is one proposed by the world that is serving mammon and one given by the Lord. To exemplify this point, I am going to submit two examples:

      The first person is a wealthy businessman. He has several houses, drives an expensive car, is CEO of a company, and an atheist. His day consists of taking thought for what he's going to eat, what he's going to drink, affairs of the morrow, and what is he going to wear.

      The second person is a man holding a cardboard sign on the corner of a street asking for food. He has very little to no money. His day consists of trying to get milk to put on his cereal. He has been laid off from his job, and does not know where the paycheck for tomorrow is coming from. He's taken thought for what he will wear for the afternoon, though it is not a very expensive ensemble, he has taken thought for his life, what he'll eat, as well. He does not believe in God, and blames it on a foul experience he had as a youth in a "religious" setting so does not care much for "church things".

      What is the difference between the two? One has no house, the other does. One has no food, the other does. One will ask you for food with a sign, the other will ask you to boast his ego with your time. They are both beggars. I submit to you, that they are both homeless. According to the master they are serving, one is well off while the other is struggling. I submit to you, the truth is they are both struggling. Both are without a permanent residence.

      Now I will tell you of a third person. This person has taken no thought for the morrow for the morrow will take thought for the things of itself. This person has taken no thought for what they'll eat or what they'll drink. This person takes no thought for their body, what they'll wear. This person believes in Jesus Christ and Christ is their master. They have a permanent residence. They have a home to look forward to. They have all these things provided for them because they seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first. They do not put their treasures here on the earth, " For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come." (Heb. 13:8 NLT)

      What does the man on the corner with the sign really need? Does he need milk for his cereal? Does he need a few dollars to get him some soup? What about the wealthy CEO? Does he really need pointers from others about what he's going to wear tomorrow to impress others? Does he really need advice about what stocks he may employ the following day? No. Neither needs anything of the such. Both of them need faith today. They need not food for the morrow, they need faith for the present day.

      Are you, reader, any different? Is Jesus Christ your master or do you actually have mammon as our master? (Matt 6) When you talk to someone about coming to church, are you more concerned with getting them to church tomorrow, rather than building their faith today? If you are serving mammon, you actually are. How can someone that has little to no faith, help someone else spiritually? If the blind lead the blind, won't they both fall in a ditch? (Luke 6:39)

      I am afraid that many of us are as the man on the corner with a sign though ours are not as obvious because we all hold them so discretely. Some have learned to hide them in certain areas; one in a church group, another in a sport, and yet another in an automobile or some other trivial thing that has nothing to do with eternity. We take thought for the morrow, what we're going to wear because by some chance, maybe we can impress some "cool" people that are doing the exact same thing, and probably thinking the exact same thing about you. It is not of God. It is not of faith, and everything that is not of faith is sin. Does the man on the corner of the street not ask for food as a front (although I'm sure it is what he believes he needs) when it is faith that he really needs? Do we not ask others if you like this band or the other or what your favorite food is when it is faith that we really need? Are many not living on the city streets only with a roof to go over their head at night so that the lie that they are not homeless continues to seem to have merit?

      Let us not hold our signs up anymore. Let's believe on the one who is the same yesterday, today, and for ever. (Heb. 13:8) Only then will we not pretend like it is the food of the body that we need or the praise of men when our souls are crying for us to leave behind the trivial, faithless things of this vain world. How many of you would love to sit and talk to someone and just be honest? How many of you "don't have the time" because you are "too busy" planning for the morrow? I'm not sure who said it, but I remember reading not too long ago that, "The man who says he is too busy for anything is busy doing nothing." Count it true.

      Not only this, but what about our relation to God. If you are serving mammon, you are not pleasing God, and I am almost certain that you are not praying to Him as well. Prayer is vital. Realize what E.M. Bounds has shared: "He who is too busy to pray will be too busy to live a holy life. Satan had rather we let the grass grow on the path to our prayer chamber than anything else."

      Let's end the lie of being "too busy" and get to the place of being called, "too spiritual" by the heathen and infidels throughout this world.

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