My pastor finished off one Sunday service by telling the congregation he wanted us that coming week to pray God would bring into our lives someone in need and that we would give to that person in some way whether it be a hot meal, a word of encouragement, prayer, etc. A convicting reminder. How so? I am sad to share with you this.
Why is it we should have to be reminded to give to a world in need? To love others? To give to those in need? To pray to God to bring people into our lives with needs? To look for opportunities? God’s two greatest commands are to love Him with all our hearts and others as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31), and the Bible is filled with teaching on loving and serving God – and OTHERS in His name. So why do we need reminders like my pastor gave that day?
Because we fall so easily into the flesh-driven life, don’t we? Because we are so self-centered by nature, aren’t we? Because though Jesus says His followers are to deny self, take up our crosses, and follow Him (Luke 9:23), if we don’t consciously determine to do this, if we aren’t preached to and don’t read our Bibles regularly, if we don’t humble ourselves and surrender our hearts and lives to God continually, we will revert right back to our sin nature. Our sin nature of self, self, self.
Oh, God, forgive us! That no matter how many times you bring us this reminder, we still need to be reminded. Thank you God for not giving up on us. For your kindness and mercy and grace and patience with us. For calling us to love and serve and giving us all we need to do so. Most of all, for giving us yourself and your love with which to love others. Oh, God, help us. Amen!
The more I follow the Lord, the more I read the Bible, the more He changes me, the more naturally this loving and giving come. But still, in my humanness, in our humanness, we need our reminders, don’t we. To die to self, to live for Jesus. The one who did the greatest giving of all. When He died on the cross to pay our sin penalty and to be raised from the dead so all who turn from our sins, believe in Him as Lord and in His death and resurrection, and truly turn to God and His ways, are forgiven and given forever with Him.
Help us to love, oh Lord! Help us to serve, dear God! Help us to give, dear Father! Oh, have mercy upon us all. Forgive our sickening selfishness. And help us to be more and more like you, dear Lord! Amen!
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11