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Extend your hands to the needy.

When we read through Proverbs 31, much of the attributes of this ideal woman are related to her managing her home, her finances and caring for her family and servants.  Proverbs 31:20, however, shows us that she is not just home-centric, but loves her neighbor, as well. 

She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. – Proverbs 31:20

God has created women to be compassionate.  We are the nurturers. 

Extend your hands to the needy, Proverbs 31:20

 

In my recent post on Hands in the Bible, I shared about using our hands to hold on to things: our time, our money, our love.  The Proverbs 31 woman, is the opposite.  She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.  She is not holding on tightly to what is rightfully hers. She is sharing the fruits of her labor with those in need.  Her charity does not end with a kind word or a promise to pray for others; it’s more than a passive activity.   Her helping may involve physical giving – food, clothing, other goods or it may include giving spiritual food to those who are poor in spirit, spiritually poor and needy, and who hunger and thirst after righteousness.

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It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our own lives and problems that focus just on what needs to get accomplished for our homes and families.  God commands us, however, to help others and to love our neighbors.  There are dozens, maybe hundreds of verses which point to the importance of helping others.

Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Galatians 6:2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Deuteronomy 15:11For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

Think about your own family or circle of friends, perhaps your church community.  Who comes to mind when you think of someone living out this verse?  Is the woman who always provides a meal for the sick or shut-in?  Or the one who tirelessly serves food at a local Soup Kitchen.  Maybe it’s the one that collects coats for children in shelters or the one who fosters at-youth children in her home.

There are thousands of ways that we can live out this verse in our lives and how you can extend your hands to the needy. While some require giving of our own financial or physical resources, many won’t cost anything but time and heart.

I encourage you today to look at your own life and examine how you are extending your hands to the needy.  Are you giving only when it is convenient or do you truly have a heart to help those less fortunate?  What is God asking of you?  Have you prayed to Him to reveal to you how He would have you serve?

 

Extend your hands to the needy, Proverbs 31:20

Here are some suggestions for ministering to others in your community:

  • Participate in Operation Shoebox
  • Participate in or spearhead a clothing drive 
  • Host a garage sale and donate the profits to a ministry or local charitable organization
  • Instead of selling unused or unwanted items in your home, seek out donation centers where your no longer wanted items would be a blessing to someone in need
  • Prepare a meal for an elderly person in your home, bring it to them and sit with them while they eat it.  Your companionship may do more for their spirit than the food could do for their bodies.
  • Volunteer at a shelter or Soup Kitchen
  • Consider fostering a child in your home (in the county that our church resides, there is only ONE foster family, but many children in need).
  • Prepare a few “Blessing Bags” to keep in your car.  Give them to the homeless that you encounter.  You have no idea how much that simple gesture will impact another.  
  • Get involved in a ministry with a mission to serve others.  At our church, my heart is for the Bethesda Ministry for single women, widows and orphans.
  • In addition to your tithe, consider giving money to other ministries to support the needy.  Church budgets are often tight and your extra few dollars could be a huge blessing to others.  God will multiply your offering!

What other things can you do to share your love of Christ and extend your hands to the needy?  Pray that God will shine a light where you can serve him and extend your hands to the needy.

Because of Him,

Sue

For more on the attributes of the Proverbs 31 woman, see this post or this one or search Proverbs 31 at the top of this site.

 

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Grab my FREE 5 Steps Toward a Proverbs 31 Life!

Extend your hands to the needy, Proverbs 31:20

Susan is a writer, speaker and the creator of Women of Noble Character ministries. She is passionate about helping Christian women live a Proverbs 31 life in today’s world. The Lord laid upon her heart to serve women to grow in Christ, improve their marriages and manage their homes stress-free. She provides tools and resources on her website for Christian women to grow in their faith, deepen their relationship with their husbands and manage their homes well.

She lives in rural North Central Missouri with her handsome and hilarious husband and a myriad of dogs, cats and chickens.

Susan runs on Jesus, coffee and not enough sleep.
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