05/12 - Compassion
“But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but indeed and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18
A few years ago our church set up tables with information to sponsor a child from Compassion International. We felt led to help but financially things were tight for our family. However, one treat we did enjoy was going out to dinner once a week. We decided to give up one dinner out a month in order to sponsor a child. As a family, we went over and looked at all the sweet children’s faces on the brochures. One little girl from Burkina Faso, Africa, stood out and we picked her. Partly because her name was Valentine (our girls are such the little romantics and they loved her name) and partly because she was close in age to our youngest daughter and we knew that would be fun. We were so excited and couldn’t wait to write to her and then eagerly waited for her to write back. In one of her letters she asked us, “How can I pray for your family?” Wow! I was blown away. I realized then that sometimes when we help someone we receive a bigger blessing than the one we give.
The Bible contains many scriptures about helping the poor and needy. It isn’t a suggestion; it is a commandment. God doesn’t say if you have extra money or if you feel led, He simply says ‘feed the poor.” Matthew 25:31-46 tells us about the Final Judgment and how God will separate the righteous from the unrighteous. He says:“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” When we serve and care for others, ultimately, we are serving and caring for Christ.
Our love for Christ is what motivates us to love and serve others. It is at the core of everything that we do. When we sponsor a child, we are giving them more than just food or an education or a chance to change their lives, we are giving them hope. Hope that only comes from God.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Thank you for loving us and providing for all of our needs. I pray that our love for you will be so great it will motivate us to help others and share your Hope with a world that desperately needs it.
Devotion written by: Ruth Wittenbrook
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