We do not need a miracle to help someone facing hard times

In 1 Kings 17 Elijah is fed in two different miraculous ways – 1) wild ravens on an orderly mission, and 2) a hungry widow with bottomless jars. But that does not mean we need either of these to help someone in hard times.

In 1 Kings 18:3-4 we are introduced to a man named Obadiah who did something rather wonderful, dangerous and costly, but not miraculous. He fed one-hundred persecuted people, hidden in two caves, with bread and water.

While bread and water may not seem very impressive to some observers, bread and water just happened to be two items difficult to come by during the three-year climate change Samaria faced. And yet Obadiah came through so the prophets of the Lord could persevere.

The miraculous times of God-given food and drink recorded in the Bible are interesting moments to think about and they bring with them valuable lessons (Matthew 16:5-12), but as James (who was familiar with the lessons of Elijah’s story – James 5:17-18) told the church in the first century, doing what we can to help someone facing hard times does not take a miracle, but (like Obadiah) it still takes a living faith to use our God-given blessings.

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? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17 NKJV)

#benevolence, #faith, #helping, #miracles

Seeing Jesus Through a Helping Hand

Justin Imel tells about a disabled boy years ago who sold items on the platform as passengers exited a commuter train. One day, a businessman rushes from the train to meet an appointment and crashes into the boy, spilling the contents of his basket. He leaves, never even looking down. As other passengers pass, trampling his goods, another man stopped. He offered his hand, helped the boy up and gathered his things together. Wiping away tears and dusting himself off, the boy, in a quivering voice, asked, “Mister, are you Jesus?”

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#benevolence, #christ, #forthright, #helping, #poor