Tag Archives: needy

Oppression

In Nehemiah 5, we read about the oppression of people. God’s Word tells us it is good to “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly” but do we (Micah 6:8)? Isaiah even tells us to “correct oppression” (1:17). Sadly, people are still being oppressed today.

During the time of Nehemiah, people who were redeemed were being sold back into slavery (v. 8). There was a famine in the land so they mortgaged their fields and homes to just be able to make it (v. 3-4). They even had their children forced to be slaves (v. 5).

When Nehemiah found out about the oppression, he was angry and considered the situation carefully (v. 6-7). He then rebuked the people for exacting interest on their brothers who were already struggling (v. 9). At that point, everything was restored and paid back to the people. Nehemiah reminds us to help as we are led and to not take advantage of each other. He never took the food allowance. He understood the people were already burdened (v. 18). It is God’s desire that we build each other up, rather than tear each other down. Let us do and seek justice always.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” – Micah 6:8 [NASB]

“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” – Isaiah 1:17 [ESV]

 

 

 

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How Can I Help

How often do you wake up and say, “How can I help”? It’s not something we always want to do because helping can be an inconvenience. Helping can be uncomfortable. Helping may cause us to sacrifice. But if you wake up each morning and ask God how you can help, don’t be surprised when you get lots and lots of answers.

There was a time when I woke up and thinking of others was far from my mind. Even today there are days when I wake up and I want to live for me. But God has been helping me to see how awesome it is to ask how I can help when I start my day. So on a normal day I wake up and thank God for the opportunity to serve Him another day. Then I ask how I can help. And when there’s someone struggling, I don’t pray only for them to find relief, be healed, receive direction, etc., but I ask God how I can be used in the situation.

Watch out when you ask this question. God may open your eyes to many people in need. God may place before you people who need rides, who need a shoulder to cry upon, who are going to pull you out of your comfort zone. You might have to change your routine so you can help someone. You may have to leave early to pick up someone for a ride. There may be a phone call when you wanted to watch television and veg. Paul wrote to “not just do what is most convenient.” There are people who falter. There are people in need. We “are strong and able in the faith” so that we can “step in and lend a hand.” So how can YOU help today?

“Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?’” – Romans 15:1-2 [MSG]

Desperate Disruptions

When you get desperate you do things you wouldn’t normally. You are more vulnerable. You are more shameless. You are more likely to fall upon your knees. You are more likely to take action. Again and again we see this desperation from so many people in the Bible. Remember the hemorrhaging woman who reached out to touch Jesus? How about the friends who went through the roof to get their friend to see Jesus? Or the blind man who continued to call to Jesus for mercy despite the people around him who told him to quiet down? These people all were desperate. These people were all in need. These people all recognized they could not do it alone.

Jesus did not see these people as disruptions. They were each people in need—in need of a Savior. Each person needed help. Each person needed healing. Jesus did not turn them away despite having other things on the agenda. He took time. He gave of Himself. He embraced these people and filled their needs.

We each are in desperate need of a Savior and we each find ourselves on our knees in desperation again and again. If we look around, there are also moments when people are in need of help and they are placed before you so that you can be the hands and feet of Christ. Today I ask if you see these people as disruptions or if you keep your hands open and your eyes on Christ? Perhaps these “disruptions” are God’s plan all along. Perhaps at this very moment, you were to do something great for God’s glory, but you saw it as an inconvenience and passed up the opportunity to show someone the love of Jesus. Perhaps.

“I cry to you, LORD; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.’ Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.” – Psalm 142:5-6 [NIV]

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Your God Hands

There are people all over the world who need help. There are people right in front of you that need help. Proverbs tells us that we should “never walk away from someone who deserves help.” If there is a person before you, “your hand is God’s hand for that person.”

Do you consider yourself the hands and feet of Christ? We each are called to serve, to love, to help those in need. “Don’t tell your neighbor ‘maybe some other time.’” If the “money’s right there in your pocket” it should be so easy to pull it out and bless that person. That is why God put it there in the first place. You have been blessed to be a blessing.

Each day I see people in great need and I see those who could help. Sadly many of those moments end with the needy person walking away without assistance. God places many people before us each day, many people we can touch with His hands. We can show love—it requires action, it requires being intentional, it requires compassion. Get your God’s hands ready. It’s time to help someone.

“Never walk away from someone who deserves help;
your hand is God’s hand for that person.
Don’t tell your neighbor ‘Maybe some other time’
or ‘Try me tomorrow’
when the money’s right there in your pocket.
Don’t figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor
when he’s sitting there trusting and unsuspecting.”

-Proverbs 3:27-29 [MSG]

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Don’t Look the Other Way

There are people in need all around you. Did you see someone in need today? Most likely you didn’t because you were not looking. We live in a society that looks the other way. We are preoccupied with social media and too busy to see people right before us. Many times we are in our own little world. I know. I spend time there.

There are people struggling to pay their bills. There are people struggling to find the food to feed their families. There are people struggling with health issues, depression or something else that leaves them on their knees.

It is great to be on your knees. It is a perfect position to meet God. However, God calls each of us to be His hands and feet. We should never look the other way and pretend there is no problem. We should never keep a tight grip on the money that God gave us to manage for Him. We aren’t to count the cost when we are helping those in need. We are simply to open our hands and keep them open. You are blessed. Now be a blessing. Someone needs you to open your hands for God’s glory today. Don’t close your eyes. Don’t turn away. Be a blessing.

“When you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God, your God, is giving you, don’t look the other way pretending you don’t see him. Don’t keep a tight grip on your purse. No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs. Don’t count the cost. Don’t listen to that selfish voice saying, “It’s almost the seventh year, the year of All-Debts-Are-Canceled,” and turn aside and leave your needy neighbor in the lurch, refusing to help him. He’ll call God’s attention to you and your blatant sin.”

– Deuteronomy 15:7-9 [MSG]

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The Good Samaritan

Help the needy. Feed the hungry. Fight for the widow and stand up for the poor. Again and again we read commands to be there for our fellow man. Yet not enough people are following those commands. The world contains those who can build marble fountains in their fabulous vacation home with elaborate fish tanks and designer clothing to those who do not eat for days, who are faced with possible food and water contamination due to their circumstances.

I recently started working as a cashier at a grocery store and have seen things that are painful to watch. A young lady told me she was just in a car accident and was only released from the hospital so she did not have her rewards card to scan; it was in her totaled car. She looked tearful and in pain. She had two items, dog food and toilet paper. She attempted to pay with her debit card but the payment was declined. She then asked for me to remove the toilet paper and try again. I had to wait for my manager to void the transaction. As I waited, with a large line of people waiting to be served, no one offered to pay the few dollars to help this young lady out. There was no random act of kindness. I prayed someone would step up. I prayed someone would be the Good Samaritan. Instead the young lady left with dog food and tear filled eyes.

The world has a lot of needs – the greatest is Jesus. Today, be the Good Samaritan. Lend a hand. Help someone out. Commit a random act of kindness. Most importantly, share Jesus. Share His Message. Share His love.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” – Matthew 25:40 [NIV]

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