Thursday, July 7, 2011

blessed to be a blessing

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.'

Those are Jesus' words.  In James 1:27 He told us that pure religion is about helping those in need.  He used the example of orphans and widows.  So my question to you and to me on this day is simply this:  who around us needs our help?  Who are the people who have lost their dreams, who have no hope and are headed in a downward direction?

I don't have all the answer.  But I know who does.  Our church doesn't have enough resources to help all of those in our community.  But I know who does.  I don't even know who all the people are in need.  But I know who does.

Back to the scripture I started with today, look who is keeping track.  No, helping people doesn't get you into heaven.  Having Jesus as your Savior is the only ticket into heaven, yet when God has us, there ought to be something different about the way we live and the way we serve.  There ought to be a huge difference in the way we respond to people especially to those who are hurting.

I've taken another look at my surroundings today.  One piece that I cannot get out of my mind is something that I am convinced of.  Listen to this: God uses people who have been broken to help people who are broken.  Did you hear that?  People who have been hurt are the prime candidate to help those who are currently hurting.  What have you been through in your life?  That might just be the spot where God will use you to help someone else because you have been there.  You know the pain.  By stepping in to those places, you and I become Jesus with skin on.  By serving and sharing with others, we show people who Jesus is.

Recently a lady walked into our church and sat down to talk with one of our volunteers.  The lady said her husband has recently died and life was so difficult.  That sweet volunteer from our church had been through the same thing.  Not a coincidence.

The phone rang recently, and the guy shared some of his story with me.  A lady who is in the same treatment facility told him about our church.  Because their situations are similar, they encouraged and prayed for each other.

I can go one sharing those happenings for a long time, but the fact is God wants to use you and me to serve the people around us.  Serving through meeting real needs is one of the things that God will bless your life.  Provide clothes.  Give a meal or food.  Spend some time with a person.  Visit someone in the hospital or in jail.  Serve someone else.

There is no higher calling.  The more I get to do what I do the more convinced I am that God has led me and our church family to this place.  Making a difference where we are is incredible.  You don't have to get on a plane and travel to the other side of the world to help people.  It might mean just opening up your door and going to the neighbor's house.  It could even be just going to the other side of your house to help that person who is hurting.

God wants to use you.  Let Him.  Then what God bless your life.  We really are blessed to be a blessing!

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God's law.

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