I’ve been discussing ways to stay fresh in our daily walk with God… something I’ve found I need so much more the older I get. The first two points were to see things through the eyes of new Christians, and to keep a proper perspective of my own abilities.
This last point is to get in and physically do something to help those around me.
In my first post, the contrast between two possibilities was profound – I’m guilty of either seeing myself as having matured beyond the need to consider the basics of Christianity, or of seeing the Word of God as something fresh and new, even if it’s a truth I’ve known for many years.
The final point in this series is that I need to go out and use what I learn for the benefit of others. I need to stay involved in physically helping other people – meeting a physical or emotional need for someone around me.
Faith Without Works
“As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” ~ James 2:26 (NIV)
Have you ever known a fact, but not really understood it until you got your hands in it? Like the difference between reading a recipe, versus actually putting all those ingredients together and baking it into something people can eat. When you’ve done it, had your hands in it, mixed it all around, felt the dough in your fingers, that’s when the truth of that recipe really grabs you.
Offering comfort in distress, providing for a need, rejoicing with a friend over some great blessing – these are things we can do for each other that keeps us active in our walk with God. It makes those great ‘intellectual studies’ turn into something concrete.
Suddenly ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ has a face… the face of your actual neighbor.
Sometimes the older we grow in Christ, the more insulated from the world we become. It’s only natural really – we don’t enjoy the same entertainment, or go to many of the same places. Friends who aren’t saved don’t understand, and perhaps stop coming around on their own. We spend more time at church, and with other saved friends.
Sometimes too, that insulation gets just a little too comfortable. This is probably one of my greatest failures. I get comfortable sitting at home. I work from home, I’ve had years of small children at home, and now I homeschool, too. Often times, I rarely have to leave the house, except for church. In fact, I’d rather not leave the house at all if I can help it. So for me, it’s a great temptation to stay right where I’m most comfortable. But that means I’m isolated from the world, from hurting people. And it’s not good.
I’m starting to see this stage in the Christian life as that moment when God flings the door open wide and says, “Come on out, show the world the gifts I’ve given you. Let them know what I can do through you.”
There are so many ways you and I can get out there and get our hands into the work. So many ways that God wants to highlight our gifts – not to highlight ourselves, but to glorify Himself.
What a neat thought it is to realize that after God offers salvation, He wants us to glorify Him through bringing others to Himself. And what a neat thought it is that God gives us the chance to take part in His work in the lives of other people.
Have you ever been the wonder for someone else?
Doing something for someone else means we’ve become a wonder in their eyes… we may never know it, and we may never want it, but it’s still true. We’ve become the answer to someone else’s prayer, the reason someone else finally understands a truth in God’s Word, the messenger of God’s gospel to someone else. We’ve had a hand in helping someone else see the wonder of God.
And when we have a part in that, we experience a little of the wonder of God ourselves. It digs deeper into our own hearts, bears the fruit of wonder, of awe, of the simplicity of the Lord Almighty – His glorious simplicity.
What an awesome responsibility and opportunity. And I hope today I’m able to be what someone else needs.
I’d love to hear your thoughts of practical ways we, as Christian ladies, can get out into our communities and help those in need.