Good news is something missing from most news stories, but one story circulating some headlines falls into a category that makes it worth talking about … without it being gossip!
It took a personal initiative and the help of 7,000 views from others to make one doctor’s concern about something he saw while watching a TV show worth the effort of going the second mile.
The concern revolved around a lump on the throat of a woman (who was a perfect stranger to the afore-mentioned doctor) buying a house. And while the lump obviously wasn’t bothering the woman, at that time, it bothered the doctor. That’s why he decided to take action. His effort to reach the woman ended up being to her benefit because the lump ending up being cancerous!
Looking out for the interest of others isn’t always the easiest the thing to do. At times it takes some effort driven by concern. And while the effort will not always be appreciated by everyone, it can and will eventually make a big difference in someone’s life.
“Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:1-5 NKJV)
“Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”” (Acts 16:26-28 NKJV)
Circumstances and responsibilities and emotions can make life hard to bear at times. Even in the middle of what many perceive to be a “blessed” life.
Temptations can go beyond starting something that we should not – they can actually cause us to consider ending something that we should not; even something as important as our own life.
When the feelings the Philippian jailer felt hit like a ton of bricks because our world has been shaken to pieces and it seems as if we are losing or have lost everything that makes life worth living, we need to stop and remember the love of God. It’s a love that causes others to care, a love that looks to re-create and a love that does not want to see us do any harm to ourselves.
These types of emotions can be a sensitive topic but they are important because people are important and God wants us to be saved … even from ourselves at times.
“But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.” (Acts 16:25 NKJV)
“You may forget with whom you laughed, but you will never forget with whom you wept.“
I found the above quote in an old little booklet called “Good Stuff.” It reminds us of the importance of being there for others when we’re needed.
Often times we may find it difficult to “be there” for others. The difficulty does not come from a lack of interest or care. The difficulty comes from the awkwardness of not knowing exactly what to do or say to help the hurting.
The simple fact is that there is hardly a time when we could do or say anything that would completely remedy the situation. Pain that produces tears needs more than minutes … it needs weeks, months or maybe even years. But the minutes that we offer and give still matter!
You may have never heard the quote at the beginning, but if you can remember the quote at the end, you will understand the importance of the little things that help us to be better equipped to help with the big things of life. The quote is grouped with a list of things that may not always be easy to do, but they are always worth it.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.” (Romans 12:14-16 NKJV)
There is no doubting hurricane Harvey’s devastation.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been directly affected. Infrastructure has been rendered useless. Houses turned into pits of mold and piled-up garbage. Education and jobs put on hold.
People need help! But what some people consider help serves as a prime example of a deeply seeded sign of depravity in our culture.
Help, by its very nature, is an action meant to create improvement! When one understands the nature of help, then one can understand how pro-abortionists view children – an inconvenient and optional choice that creates an undue, unwarranted and unwanted burden that is better-off put to death … a point of view that is far from understanding the responsibility attached to having sex and the value of the life it helps to create.
When someone offers “help” the question must be asked, “What are they trying to help me accomplish?” Because all help doesn’t improve our situation in life.
“Now in the time of his distress King Ahaz became increasingly unfaithful to the Lord. This is that King Ahaz. For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus which had defeated him, saying, “Because the gods of the kings of Syria help them, I will sacrifice to them that they may help me.” But they were the ruin of him and of all Israel.” (2 Chronicles 28:22-23 NKJV)
When it comes to displaying godly behavior, the ways of doing so are numerous. In the latest issue of Gospel Minutes the following point was made after noting Joseph’s willingness to stand-up for his brother Benjamin during his incognito interaction with the rest of his brothers:
This is one of our principle duties as Christians. We are not here to just go through the motions of worship and religious activities. We are here to protect the weak. We must act when we see children abused. We must act when we see domestic abuse. We must act when we see people at risk or in danger of maltreatment and do all we can to protect them. In the process, we may (like Joseph) discover what it is in the hearts of others. In the meantime, we will be rescuing a helpless victim. (Taking Responsibility by David Thurman – Gospel Minutes – Volume 66, No. 16)
The social justice movement abuses the essence of the gospel, but the essence of the gospel comes with the responsibility of societal justice. In other words, we have a responsibility to love our neighbor, and that includes not only doing right ourselves but also helping others when they are wronged. This responsibility can be seen in the lessons of the Good Samaritan, the woman taken in adultery and even in the interaction between Jesus and Simon the Pharisee (not to mention Jesus’ crucifixion and everything that surrounded his injustice).
As Christians, we cannot “fix” the world but we can help others by being a light that reveals the difference between right and wrong.
“But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.” (Ephesians 5:13 NKJV)
As of August 23rd, the Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort has sent at least 14 semi-truck loads of help to the Louisiana area. More shipments will follow, so if you’re looking for a way to help out the people who have been hit so hard by the recent flooding, you don’t have to look any further than the provided link above.
Early in my preaching, it was my belief that my successes should be shared with everyone. Even now, I sometimes catch myself trying to impress someone with my pride in what I’m able to do.
Wow, what a foolish thing! The last thing I need is to justify my work by showing others how well I think I’m doing it!
Have you ever thought that one of the things God’s word does better than anything is its ability to hold up our motives and put them on public display. All the Lord has to do is say, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves ; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others,” (Philippians 2:3-4 NASB).
Paul defines selfishness and empty conceit as the way I’m conducting myself when I try to show others what a great preacher I am. Not only has he defined my shortcoming, but he has shown how he wants me to improve. It isn’t necessary for people to get the headlines of my success. It is more important for me “to regard another as more important.”
Shouldn’t it be enough for me to glorify God, who already knows about my successes and failures? He’s the one for whom these labors are made. We are obeying his commands.
Besides, my reason for doing this job is not so I can become the one everybody wants to turn to and glorify. The reason is so that people will hear the gospel so that the power of God will save them. If I preach the truth, then I’ve done what God wants (Matthew 28:18-20; 1 Corinthians 1:17, 18).
Thank you, Lord God, for your word that cuts through our pretense and lays our motives bare before your eyes.
Problems persist on my personal site, so here goes the Daily Bible Devotional again on TFR.
Humans are selfish, thinking first of their own desires. In order to be the people of God, we must repent of our selfishness and think first of our neighbor. Jesus explains how:
In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you, for this fulfills the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 NET
We already have a good idea of how we want to be treated, how we want others to judge us. With this measure we should treat others.
In a word, this idea expresses the sense of Scripture and, we may add, the sense of our Lord Jesus’ coming to earth.