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Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; (Psalm 146:5-7 ESV)

From the heights of the heavens to the depths of the sea, the Lord has placed His creation in space and time. He made knife-edge cliffs that sink into the sea. He made lush, humid tropics in verdant hues. He made crisp pine-fresh air to fill the atmosphere over the glassy surface of a lake. Truly God is powerful and creative to have made all this, but He’s also personal.

The Lord did not design creation, then walk away to kick back and see how it all shakes out. He has created, and also invests in long-term provision for His creation. He splendidly clothes each wildflower in a stunning array and keeps track of the crumbs and seeds required to sustain each sparrow. He is active: He keeps his covenant, executes judgement for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, and sets prisoners free.

I tend to think of the poor in abstract terms; they are out there somewhere. They are a fixture of the fringes of society. A dirty, homeless man sitting on the curb as I leave the grocery store, my SUV packed with provisions. A woman with a lined face, tanned dark from being outdoors, who stares blankly out at the same intersection on my after school carpool drive daily. An elderly Asian man who pushes a shopping cart down my street in the still-dark hours pulling recyclables out of the neighborhood garbage totes on trash collection day. All too easily these people become part of the landscape of my day; a piece of creation I overlook.

However, I am reminded that God is a doer. If He did not abandon what He has made, how can I partner with him in this activity? How can I learn to have eyes that don’t just gloss over the poor in my sphere, but see them as those for whom the Lord is actively seeking to execute justice, feed, and set free—just as He does daily for me?

Lord, give me eyes that see those affected by poverty; that these people would not be part of the landscape of my days. Show me tangible ways I can actively use my gifts and resources to partner with You to bless the poor today.

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When Patrick in Bárbara launched Living Bread Ministries in 2004 they had to embrace poverty. For several years their family lived well below the poverty level, diverting everything they could into sparking a church planting movement among the global poor. This is the encouraging story of how the Lord sustained them and ultimately established our comprehensive church planting ministries in South America and Southeast Asia.

Thank you!

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