Saturday, December 17, 2011
No. I do.
How many times have I examined the heart of another when it's my own that needs examination? How many times have I assumed that God is trying to work in the life of another when He's been trying to work in my own life? How many times have I withheld something from a brother or sister believing it was not what they needed when it was not for me to determine but only for me to give freely?
If others had waited to help me feeling that, upon examination of my heart, I needed to learn some lesson because of my brokenness, because of my lack of relationship with God, or because it might "enable" me in some way, I know where I would be. And, it wouldn't be here. And, it wouldn't be with Him.
Our purpose here is not to be God. He's got it covered. Our purpose here is to love others as God loves us. He doesn't need it. We do.
Below are some verses to ponder and some questions to answer ...
I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. ~ Psalm 140:12
If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. ~ Deuteronomy 15:7
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. ~ Proverbs 31:8
Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. ~ Matthew 5:42
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. ~ 1 Timothy 6:18
He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done. ~ Proverbs 19:17
Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me. ~ Matthew 19:21
He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? ~ 1 John 3:17
No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. ~ Matthew 6:24
Which verse stood out the most for you, and why?
Why should we serve those in need?
What is getting in the way of you serving those in need?
How have you served, could you serve, and will you serve those in need?
Sunday, December 4, 2011
The look in the eyes of someone who has survived an attempt on their own life is unmistakable. It's so empty, so hopeless, so blank, so desolate. Not too far removed is the look in the eyes of the visitor. Wondering why it's happened and desperately seeking some answers, blame settles in for an uncomfortable stay. What does one say when you enter the room? Do you allow silence to dominate the conversation, or do you talk through the thick mask of embarrassment and pain? Slowly but surely, an embrace finally happens, and through tears, hope forms once again.
Lives are taken. When least expected, and often in very tragic ways, death arrives and leaves a mark. Children aren't supposed to be pulled from us, especially before they're born. The congratulatory remarks become piercing barbs as preparing for birth becomes the awkward explanations around loss. Loved ones aren't meant to die in the crumpled remains of an accident, left to pass on alone in darkness. Vulnerability chosen is admired, but our greatest strength comes not from ourselves.
He has been with me through the confusing times, the painful times, the times of loss, and the times of gain. It's easy to remember His presence when we are swimming in joy - as easy as it is to forget His presence when we are drowning in sadness. He is with me every day in every way, just as He's with you as well. Open your heart, your soul, your arms, your life ... and breathe in the love of Christ.