Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Jesus Loves Me This I Know"1 (Lyrics)
Acts 20:35 – And I was a constant example to you in helping the poor; for I remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (TLB)
The Bible makes it clear: God has a special place in His heart for the poor, and we should, too. When I see the terrible situation of refugees in tents in the rain and mud, far from home, I wonder, what can I do? How can I be a blessing?
Matthew 19:21 – Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (NIV)
I wonder how it would feel to "be perfect". Too often when I go shopping, I buy just for myself. Sometimes, I buy for others, too, for friends or neighbours, but do I think of the poor? When it comes down to it, selfishness kicks in, but as a follower of Jesus, I wonder: When He died on the cross, was Jesus just thinking of His own awful pain, or was He thinking of you and me?
Following Jesus means that we do for others as we do for ourselves. Unselfishness is what living in His name means. Is there someone near you today who is in need: feeling lonely, discouraged, ill, weak, useless, or poverty-stricken? Today, let us show them the love of God by helping them cope, whether it be a neighbour or a refugee. God is saying, "Be a blessing to someone today."
God gives us many opportunities to reach out to others with His love. It is God's love in us that makes us change our minds and habits, helping us to reach out to others in His name. Yes, in His love, we can be a blessing to others, today and always.
Prayer: As Your Spirit guides us, Lord, help us to move from our own wants and wishes to responding to the needs of others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.