Monday, October 29, 2012

have you seen any of these people?

Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor and with other Israelites in need.

A couple years ago I got word from a friend about a man who lived down the street from me.  I finally went to meet him, and that was the beginning of a great friendship.  He had been out of work for a while and was making ends meet as best he could.  He is a proud dude who has trouble asking for help, but when I found out a few ways to help, our church and I stepped up.

Now that same man who has been through even more battles since has given his heart to Jesus, has no more desire to drink and he won’t miss a day spending time with God and in his Bible.  Have you seen this man?

I met a lady on Facebook a couple years ago.  She and her kids were struggling big time.  Her marriage was ending because of abuse due to addiction.  Her older child was rebelling.  She ending up leaving town for a while, but she and her youngest child have returned.  All I did along with our church was offer prayer, food and encouragement.

Since moving back to town you ought to hear this sweet lady’s heart.  She is not part of our church, but she goes to her church all the time and is always talking about how good God is being to her.  She is serving others too.  Have you seen this lady?

Another dude met us as he was going through a local half way house and addiction program.  Life was anything but normal.  He struggled in and out of relationships, but this guy wasn’t afraid of work.  He worked hard but often got the short end of the stick.  Life got so bad that he ended up doing something pretty stupid and is now in prison for a couple more years.

Since that time I get a letter a couple times a month.  Most recently I hear about the Bible studies he is leading in prison and the cool church he is able to serve right where he is.  Another strange piece is the envelope we get each month with a small but faithful check.  This man is giving and praying for his pastor and his church, serving people and seeking God in prison.  Have you seen this man?

Her life isn’t easy, but this precious older lady found our church a few years ago.  Like most she showed up in a time of pain and struggle in her life and in the life of her family.  In a note she wrote me recently she shared how some people from our church simply showed they cared.  They prayed for her.  When they would see her at the store or out somewhere, they would stop, talk and share.  Life has continued to be a difficult struggle with her husband battling addiction, her sister having major brain surgery and her niece going through more pain than I can share.

Since first finding us I have watched this precious lady come out of her shell.  She loves to serve her church through the clothing ministry and more.  I even caught her this morning praying with a lady who was in real pain.  Out of her struggles has come a soft, Savior pointed and serving heart.  Have you seen this lady?

There are countless others that I have watched God work in their lives.  There are others that my heart is so heavy for like the two married couples whose relationships have taken a turn for the worse this week, for the man caught in addiction and with mental issues, or the homeless man or homeless couple that we haven’t been able to help.

Have you seen any of these people?  I think you have.  If not these people, you have seen others, and you have an opportunity to give or share or love some people in need.  I am convinced that when God changed your life and mine that He saved us with other people in mind.

Life is not about us.  It is about God.  Every chance we get we ought to share that truth with others.  We will find ourselves and our purpose when we stop thinking about ourselves and start serving others.  That is what Jesus did.  He set aside His pain so He could serve others.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Have you seen any of these people?

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