Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Helping Others

Deuteronomy 22:4

If you see that your neighbor’s donkey or ox has collapsed on the road, do not look the other way. Go and help your neighbor get it back on its feet!

RayMcDHelping others – something we should all do – is not natural for most of us. I remember the good feeling I received when our church went on mission trips to ASP (Appalachia Service Project). I went on trips to Tennessee – West Virginia – Kentucky – and Virginia. The people we helped were in dire need of a helping hand for sure. Most of us received a lot more than we gave for sure.

I especially remember working with the late great Arthur Anderson on a home in Tennessee. Arthur was a great man of God and a great builder. We were to install studs – insulation – and drywall – in order to help protect the family from the winter cold. We were working on an old minor’s shack. The outside boards had gaps between them that let the winter cold in. Each piece of drywall had to be scribed and fitted because nothing was square for sure.

Recently a small group in our church got the church involved in two mission projects – helping those in need. One was feeding those in need in a local support ministry – Grass Roots of Howard County. Another mission project that is to come up soon is taking a group of folks to Baltimore to Sandtown and help to paint some projects at Ames UMC. Helping those in need is a good thing – something we should always consider.

Here is today’s passage in partial context. Deuteronomy 22:1–4 – 1 If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. 2 If they do not live near you or if you do not know who owns it, take it home with you and keep it until they come looking for it. Then give it back. Do the same if you find their donkey or cloak or anything else they have lost. Do not ignore it. 4 If you see your fellow Israelite’s donkey or ox fallen on the road, do not ignore it. Help the owner get it to its feet.

If we see others in need and we have the ability to help – we should do more than pray for them – we should help. Jesus’ own brother wrote about this in his Epistle. James 2:14–26 – 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. 20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

Helping others is not optional IMHO. We are called to help others. We are to help those we are able to help!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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November 3, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Denomination, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Missions, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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