Love for Others
She extends her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy. (Proverbs 31:20)
They are your next door neighbors, friends, and those you pass by daily. They live pay check to pay check. Food is scarce and the clothing is tattered. Most mock them saying that they need to work harder and stop being so lazy. But that’s it, they do work, they struggle trying to make ends meet especially with the rising costs of living.
There is a great need. People are hungry. People are lonely. They are children without parents. They are homeless. What are we doing about them? Are we eager to laugh and point the finger? Or are we willing to stretch a hand?
Everyone knows The Salvation Army as a helping hand to the poor. There is no question that they excel in this area. However, what about the church in general? Are the members of the body of Christ willing to help those who are lonely and less fortunate? It goes beyond the food lines and social service offices. Are we willing to give up our own food so someone else can eat? Are we willing to give our clothes and shoes to someone who has none? Are we willing to give of our tithes in order for the work to go on?
As the Bride of Christ, we are to be willing to help the poor and the destitute. The Founder of The Salvation Army, William Booth, wanted to make sure that they were taken care of, he stated…“While women weep as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry, as they do now, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight- I’ll fight to the very end!”
God calls us to reach out. Once we are spiritually alive, we can reach out to the lost and down trodden. They will see Christ in us and they will want to be a part of our church. We may never know who we are reaching out to. A familiar contemporary Christian song asks the question, ‘Who will be Jesus to them?’
Jesus talks about this in the book of Matthew. “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me’” (Matthew 25:34-40).
The more you love someone, the more you become like them. Christ wants us to be more like Him. We will give to those in need as He gave. This goes with the two commandments that Jesus gave… “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
God must be first and foremost in our lives, then our family, then the church.