Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Jesus tells a parable about caring for the poor and the hungry at our gate (Luke 16:19-31), and certainly in the old testament, Prophets and writers spoke of the need of taking care of others.

However, the teaching of Matthew 25 is really much broader. First of all, the story specifically refers to the sick and the stranger. All of us get sick from time to time, and even the wealthiest among us can be a stranger! The message we get from Jesus here is not just about the need, but the importance of recognizing and responding to the need, whatever form it may appear to us.
So many times, people get around fulfilling this call of helping the needy by simply driving around certain areas of town, totally avoiding the "needy neighborhoods". We often times take the approach of if we don't look someone in the eye with an obvious need, we don't have to respond to them.

I love what verse 40 of Matthew 25 says: The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

"Needs" take on many forms. Just because you live in a "nice" part of town, and go to church in a "nice" part of town does not mean that your part of town does not have needs.

Different needs take different forms in different places.
  • Loneliness is rampant everywhere.
  • Illness, both physical and emotional is a huge area of need.
  • Family problems, such as divorce and discord among family members runs wild in all neighborhoods.
All of these needs cry out for someone willing to give a listening ear or a caring heart.

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question, "Growing up, what described the attitude in your family towards people in need?" The top 3 answers were:

1. 38% said "There's always enough in our pot for one more guest" was the attitude in their home for helping those in need.
2. 30% voted and said, "God helps those who help themselves" was the attitude in their home.
3. 15% said, "It's more blessed t give than to receive" was the attitude in their home for helping the needy.

One of the most important gifts, apart from providing the necessities of food and clothing, is to give of yourself. Giving of ourselves is exactly what that person who feels all alone needs. That person who has just lost a loved one or experiencing a serious illness is looking for someone to just show they care. To give of ourselves, will require our time to listen. It will take a few tears from us. It will require us to encourage someone that they are not alone.

Ministering to others can be a hard thing to put into action because it takes time. But God calls us to be good managers of all that we have, including our time. What percentage of your time is given in helping others?

Have you ever considered a tithe of your time? If you work 40 hours at your job...would it not be reasonable to give back to God 10% and help others for at least 4 hours? You might ask what could I possibly accomplish in just 4 could serve lunch at the local soup kitchen. You could rake the leaves of your elderly neighbor. You could mow the grass at your church.

Further down in Matthew 25, we receive a warning...

MATTHEW 25:45 He will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did NOT do for one of the least of these, you did NOT do for me."

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD is a a post devoted each week to my thoughts on a personal study that I am doing. Right now I am studying from a book "Lasting Legacy" and from it I am learning how to make a difference with my life. Today, I share my thoughts on what I have learned this week about giving to others. I hope you will join me on this journey of leaving a legacy for Christ!
YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL...please vote in this week's poll. "What did you most thirst for in your teen years?" Your opinion really does matter to me! (find the poll on the side bar of this blog!)


Kristina said...

I just found your blog, it is wonderful...thanks for the message!

Beth in NC said...

You're right. Our time is a precious gift to others (and I often feel like it is a rare commodity).

Conviction ....