Needy People and the People of God

A few weeks ago, while sitting in a parking lot, something caught my attention. My wife was getting some groceries and I was sitting in our van when I noticed a gentleman (probably mid -60’s) pushing his cart with one hand, while using a cane to support himself with the other. On the somewhat icy conditions, I could tell he was really struggling. I thought to myself, I can help! Exhibiting a level of decisiveness that is often foreign to me, I put on my mask, and got out of the van as quick as I could. 

What I saw next surprised me. The man had a Porsche! To be honest, you don’t see many Porsche’s here in central PA, but that is what he was driving. I asked if I could help him with his groceries, and he agreed. If you know your high performance cars, you won’t be surprised that the engine was in the back so we put the groceries in the front of his car, which was kind of weird. We talked for a few moments, I wished him well, took his cart back to the store, and that was the extent of our interaction. 

For those of you who know me or are a regular reader of this blog, perhaps you thought I was going to use this as a witnessing opportunity. That certainly would have been an appropriate thing to do, but for whatever reason I didn’t do that. This was, however, a reminder that people are needy. No matter how rich or well-to-do a person is, they are still needy. 

You don’t have to look long and hard to see the tremendous needs that people have. It could be a physical problem, like the rich guy with the Porsche, or it could be something else. What it all boils down to is quite simple. People need the Lord! They might not have a physical, emotional, psychological or family problem, but they do have a sin problem. Our great God has determined to use the words, witness, and service of His people to reach those in need. 

I love how 1 Thessalonians 5:15 puts it: “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.” When Paul says “one another,” he means fellow believers within the Body of Christ. That is where we start, but that’s not where we stop. He extends that by saying “and to everyone.”

In this sinful, fallen, broken, hurting, and hopeless world, there are countless opportunities to serve. As you know, we live in a tech saturated and post-Covid world that we are still adjusting to. In many ways, we are more isolated than ever, even though the world is at our fingertips. I don’t deny that there are challenges, but they are not insurmountable. What this means for the people of God is we just need to be a little more creative. 

The Bible says, “In love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). When God has filled your heart with love, it will overflow in acts of service. It doesn’t have to be something huge, but just something that demonstrates care and love. Write a letter, text a bible verse, make a phone call, shovel someone’s driveway, and even stop over for a visit (call and make sure they are ok with it, of course). These are just a few ideas of ways to provide care and support to the one in need. 

The gospel of Jesus Christ reminds us that we are loved more than we can ever imagine (Romans 8:1). God has freed us by His grace from the grip of sin and the power of death, and now we are free to serve those around us. Our service is not to merit God’s favor (Ephesians 2:8-9), but simply an overflow of the favor we already enjoy. Praise God for His matchless grace!      

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). 

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