What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?
If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,
and one of you says to them,
“Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,”
but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body,
what does it profit?
LORD Jesus, we praise You, for You are the One who always provides for us. Forgive us, O God, whenever we are tempted to keep everything for ourselves. Forbid it, LORD, that we should build, or continue to build, bigger barns to hoard all our stuff. Help us, O God, and open our eyes to see how we can help our brothers and sisters. Guide us to reach out to the poor and needy. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen.
Last time I wrote that,
The purpose of fasting (both kinds: fasting to abstain from food and fasting to help people) is not for oneself to be lifted, but for us to divert our focus. When we fast the right way, we will focus on Jesus. All glory, power, and honor are His.
Let us think of three ways we can reach out to those who are poor and in need.
Give Clothing. Give Food.
We will pray for you.
On numerous occasions, concerning myself and/or others, I have heard it again and again. Honestly, I have heard it so many times that I’m tired of it. Of course, I do believe in prayers. I do not believe, though, that we are excused from reaching out if it is in our power to help. Proverbs 3:27–28 says,
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in the power of your hand to do so.
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,”
When you have it with you.
Today’s verses, found in James 2:14–16, tell us that we cannot just talk the talk (even in prayer) and tell the one in need to “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled.” What does it profit? What profit is it for those in need? What profit is it for you?
Yes, some people may take advantage of your money. You are, however, wealthy enough to support others. God has not given them the finances; instead, God has given you the power to share your wealth with them.
Whenever times of great need have passed, and we have become wealthy people, we are in danger of thinking that, due to our hard work, we have become rich.
I urge you, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, who are still holding on to that kind of thinking, to read Deuteronomy 8 today. Reflect on it. Pray about it. Give all of yourself—and “your” possessions—into the Hand of our mighty God, and see what He will do. Hallelujah!
Time is precious. One way to help others is by listening to them. You may not have the answer. Or, if you do, you may not be in a position to provide what they need. That is not important because, right now, all they might ask for is someone who cares enough to listen to them.
Time is comforting. For someone who has just lost a loved one and is grieving or someone who is going through a hardship, life has come to a halt. Time stands still. Life seems like a bad dream. Being right there for them often means the world to them.
So where does Matthew 6 fit into all of this? Before reading on, please get your Bible and follow along. Thank you.
Matthew 6:1-4 talks about the way to do charitable deeds (NKJV). These verses are followed by the LORD’s Prayer (5–15), instructions on how to fast (16–18), a warning not to lay up treasures for ourselves on earth (19–24), and a conclusion that we should not worry about our own life or food and clothing for our body (25–34).
Reading this chapter while preparing for the three blog posts, I noticed a pattern:
1) Do charitable deeds.
2) Pray that God will meet the needs of us and others.
3) Do not hoard, but share with the poor and needy.
4) If you are in more or less great need. Do not worry. Trust that God will provide!
Keep repeating and reminding yourself of these four points, and
Remember the LORD, your God, today!