Tag Archives: help

Reaching the poor

Deuteronomy 15:11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.

Everyday we see people in need, many times passing them by without a second thought. We go along with our busy lives, never stopping to lend a hand to someone that has been facing tough times. We may justify it, saying “They’ve done something to get themselves in that position”. We may seek to make ourselves feel better by pointing out that there is always something and someone and we can’t help them all.

It may very well be that the person in need is reaping some of the consequences of their own actions, but one finds very little justification in the Bible for not helping someone because it’s their own fault that they are where they’re at in life. We’re called to love, not to love only those who have not made mistakes that led to poverty or need.

It also may be true that there will always be someone in need and we can’t help all of them with the limited resources we’ve been given in our own lives. But again, one could search all through the Bible and find very little instruction to give only if you can give to everyone. In fact, the scriptures point out that there will always be poor people in the land. Yet that is the very basis for the command (“Therefore I command you…”) to give and to help.

Love the poor. Help the needy. You never know, it just may be Jesus that you’ve assisted.

Further reading: Matthew 25:31-46

Keep your eyes on Jesus

Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of or faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus was willing to die for you. He was willing because He knew the final outcome of His sacrifice. How then, can we not trust Him to intercede on our behalf when we have need? We have not because we ask not and we ask not because we trust not. If we are to have a strong walk with Christ Jesus, we have to look to Him as the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. We have to look to Him and not take our eyes off Him. We take our eyes off him when we are lured in by the weight and sin of the world which clings so closely.

Peter walked on water when he kept his eyes on Jesus. Then the problems of this world drew him away-and he sank. What better example do we need to keep our eyes on our Savior? When life’s storms come our way, the first action we should take is to look to Jesus for our salvation. He will always intercede on our behalf when we pray according to the Father’s will. Keep your eyes on Him.

God Helps Those…

overcastJohn 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

One of the most often quoted theological statements is “God helps those who help themselves”. The troubling thing about basing one’s view of God on this idea is that it’s just not biblical (The statement itself is most often attributed to Benjamin Franklin). One of the main themes of the Bible is that man is incapable of helping himself. Apart from God we are depraved, unable to life ourselves out of the pit that sin has led us to. We cannot help ourselves.

But God, in His sovereignty, chooses to help us anyway. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). In other words, He helped us though we were not helping ourselves. Even if we tried to gain some ground without God, our best efforts are useless (Isaiah 64:6). Our Lord knew we would be helpless. His plan is to be our refuge, our shelter (Isaiah 25:4), our comforter (John 14:16), our advocate (1 John 2:1). The list goes on. Why would God have such descriptive names of one who defends and provides for the helpless if we were able to doing anything for ourselves?

Secular theology may find it reasonable to accept that we must do something to earn God’s favor, but to the Christian it’s irreconcilable with The Word. God helps those who cannot help themselves. Find rest in that. Live with that hope.

More than conquerors

Romans 8:37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

In Christ we will prevail against any attack that comes against us because we are more than conquerors.  A conqueror will take on the enemy and claim victory, maybe even winning every battle he ever faces.  But one day, like everyone else, he’ll die.  All of the victories cannot stop death from coming for him.  All the battles won will be forgotten.

But in Christ we don’t fight temporal battles with little lasting impact.  When we fight on God’s team we fight eternity-centered battles.  Though it may not seem like relying on God to get us through the emotional effects of coworkers insulting us because of our faith could have anything to do with eternity, the underlying truth behind the fact that God is with us in everything we face for His sake is undeniably eternal in nature.

We are more than conquerors because we belong to the One who conquered death itself.  We’ll live on with Him as victors, having been glorified in Him.

———-  Are you fighting any battles right now that you need victory over?

When Faith is a Mystery

Faith can be a mystery to us as we struggle with the deeper questions and the more daunting challenges that we can face. It’s not so much the question of its existence. After all, most who abide in it understand that “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) Rather, it’s a question of the why and how, finding ourselves wondering what possible good could come out of this even as we try to hold fast to the hope that we need.

Sometimes we don’t easily or quickly find the answers we need. Sometimes it feels as if we push a little too hard, trying to get to where we want to be, to where we feel like we need to be. We battle with these ideas and these thoughts that we just can’t seem to escape telling us something needs to be different, trying so hard to convince ourselves that these things too shall pass, but not entirely sure when or even if they ever really will.

It’s in these times that we struggle, not necessarily with the existence of God, but in what grand scheme, what grand design He has for us. We just don’t necessarily know. We cling to the promises that He has made, the promise that He will never fail us or forsake us (Joshua 1:5) or that if we need answers that He will give them to us. (James 1:5) We pray with that sincere heart, searching for the purpose and the meaning we are in such desperate need of and it seems like it is far removed from our lives.

What we have to remember is that God, He never promised us that the road we are going to go down was going to be an easy one, nor does He promise us easy answers or quick fixes. Sometimes we are told that our Heavenly Father, He just wants us to be happy. The truth is He does, there is little question of that. The redeeming sacrifice of His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the perfect example of that. Yet, He wants us to be happy for the right reasons and the right times, knowing that He has a time for all things. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) This is the way that He ensures that we are as He wills, never letting anything touch us that is more than we can handle. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Though the answers and the reasons may not be clearly apparent at first, this is why Christ, our blessed and good Shepherd, is there for us. He is there not just as the great and wondrous deliverance for our sins, but also to take upon Himself the yoke of our burdens, giving us the rest, hope and peace that we so need during the trials that we must face during this existence. (Matthew 11:28-29)

God’s path, and His design may not be the simplest or the easiest. It may, at times, even go beyond our ability to understand or comprehend as we travel it. That’s okay. Not all things are meant to be revealed right then or there, regardless of the challenges it may create. Sometimes, by knowing at that very moment it would even create a greater challenge to the spirit and to the soul that we just find ourselves unable to wrap our heads around, because not only did we not need to know right then, we just aren’t capable of knowing right then and there. Sometimes we need time to travel down that path to give us what we need to grow, to be, to find ourselves before the answers make any sort of sense to us.

Sometimes we need to let go of the how and the why and let ourselves be just transcend it. We need not to think of faith as a mystery but as a journey through the deeper places within ourselves, knowing that the trials we face and the adversities that are there are nothing more than markers on a road towards a greater end for our lives. We grow when we learn to let go, and we learn that though the moments may be hard, all of them weave together to create a greater picture that we are meant to see with time and space.

Let these moments pass through you, but don’t let their lessons pass by you as you search for meaning in them. In the end they will tell you of a grander, greater vision that God, in His infinite love has for you. You just have to let it.