by Pastor Tim Burt
As Christians, the Apostle Paul instructs us to care for each other. Galatians 6:2-3 (NLT) says, “Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody” The Apostle Paul told us that God created us to be a blessing and help to each other. Jesus modeled the selfless life, not the selfish life.
I grew up watching my mother (a wonderful and amazing woman who has gone home to be with the Lord) worry about everyone. She felt that worry equaled compassion. That’s not really true! Caring for others equals compassion, but worrying does not. Jesus said worrying can’t add a thing to our life. Caring for others—understanding what you can do and what you can’t do, does work. This took many years for me to sort out.
There are times when we feel the burden to help many, just a few, or sometimes just one person. There are times when we can do something immediately for someone. There are other times when we’ve been given an assignment by God’s Spirit to pray for others. There are times when I go to the hospital to pray for someone from our church. There are many times when I’m asked by readers to pray for them. And there are times when I have such a burden to pray for our country that I can hardly contain it.
Before I pray, I often read from God’s Word and see what scriptures He wants me to pray. As I was recently feeling led to pray for our country, the Lord led me to Psalm 115. The Lord was reminding me that the world looks to idols—systems or things people lean upon—things that can’t really help them. In the old days, these were literally idols carved or shaped from something. Today they’re government systems that are supposed to solve all our problems only they never do. Putting trust in them is like putting trust in idols.
Psalm 115:4-8 described them like this: “Their idols are merely things of silver and gold, shaped by human hands. They cannot talk, though they have mouths, or see, though they have eyes! They cannot hear with their ears, or smell with their noses, or feel with their hands, or walk with their feet, or utter sounds with their throats! And those who make them are just like them, as are all who trust in them.”
I’m sure none of you are sitting around praying to idols as just described. But are you looking to the Lord for your help? You and I cannot solve all our own problems, nor the problems of others. We are not God. But that doesn’t mean I give up doing what I can, or abandon others in need in thought and caring. No to the contrary, I do what I can, not what I can’t. And that means that in every situation, I look to the Lord first—whether it’s for help for myself, or for help for others! Looking first to the Lord is the starting place and the most powerful thing I could do. Lifting my needs as well as others needs before the Lord should always be our first step and we should do so with great faith. Seeking God first not only honors God, but it draws on the grace of God—on His supernatural help for the needs we are mindful of. And when we do, we’ll be more empowered by His grace to work our way through our problems and to help others around us. We are not God so we must stop looking to ourself for every solution as though we were the idol! We can be led, guided, and empowered by His grace to help ourselves and others as we seek His promises to fuel our prayers and and bring His grace to our efforts in being a blessing to others. If we love God, we are going to feel compassion toward others. This is what will make you a more effective doer in walking out that compassion! This is what happened with the loaves and fishes! Miracles!
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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