by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you looked around recently? In case you did not notice, you are surrounded by all sorts of people who are in need. Some will openly tell you about what they are going through and others will hide it behind a smile figuring it doesn’t do much good to complain and few like to listen anyway. Whether you notice them all or not, there are an abundance of people in need all around you!
When you do take note of them, the thought that so often comes to mind is, What can I do about their situation? I don’t have the ability to resolve it. You add to this the fact that most people are busy looking out for their own lives and working to meet their own needs. It takes a lot of work just to get your own issues and needs taken care of. You deserve the right to look after yourself don’t you? Who has the time to think about everyone else’s needs?
Rich or poor, we all need a rudder to keep us balanced so that we don’t turn completely inward—something contrary to God’s plan to bless you! That rudder is having Jesus’ spirit of compassion regarding the needs of others, without feeling guilty about what you can’t do.
We can learn from Ezekiel 16:49 NIV, “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
In these verses the people of Sodom were flourishing. Abundance flowed in this land. Because many people had everything they needed, people were busy at indulging their own self-pleasures. They didn’t use their abundance of resources and wisdom to help and strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. Instead they were prideful, critical, and snubbed their noses at those that needed help. God saw this as an abomination.
The only way to protect yourself from becoming too focused on your own needs, or becoming apathetic toward the needs of others, is to live your life daily with a sense of compassion—purposing to be a light and touch of God’s love as the Lord leads you. If you live like this, it won’t matter what your financial condition is. You will be a blessing to those around you. Having a spirit of compassion and a caring heart, will turn on the awareness switch within you that helps you see the hands of those that need strengthening. Will you suddenly become swamped and overwhelmed with the needs of people around you? No because God uses many people to be a grace and help to those in need, not just you. You are not anyone’s savior and you can’t help the whole world. But don’t let that mentality become an excuse for doing nothing! You can do something as God leads you. Do you have to stop and do something for every person that seems to have a need? The answer to that is in a scripture from the Message translation that says “…you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands.” 2 Corinthians 8:12 (MSG)
Here’s and example of how God used me. I was asked to play in a golf tournament. I prayed that the Lord would use me while I was there. We were given a young man as a caddy for our team. In talking with him, he shared that he was getting ready to enter college. He was a great caddy and really a nice young man and I told him so. When I did, he responded “I try to be good. I haven’t missed church on Sunday in three years.” I immediately recognized that as a God cue. The Lord alerted me to share with Him. I asked him, Is that what is going to get you into Heaven one day? He replied, Well I am trying to be good enough to get there. I asked him if believed in Jesus. He said Yes. I asked him if he believed that Jesus died for His sins. He said Yes. So I asked him, If Jesus died for your sins, then why are you trying to earn your way there. Jesus already made the way for you to enter. I went on to explain what Jesus did for him and helped him pray a prayer of salvation. He was in awe saying he never really understood the connection between Jesus dying for His sins and the gift of eternal life. He was elated beyond words. This all happened in three minutes time. At the end of the day, I gave him a nice tip, a Bible I had in my car for times like this, and a little book that helped him understand salvation through Jesus. His life was changed and it was something that took little time and flowed with the day!
Phillipians 2:4 KJV says, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” It goes on to say that this was the heart and mind of Jesus. It should be our heart and mind also. Just being caring will make your life richer than life could be any other way. And Jesus will always help you!
“…you do what you can, not what you can’t. The heart regulates the hands.” 2 Corinthians 8:12 (MSG)
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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