“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” The writer of Hebrews penned these words written to the Church—believers in Jesus as the resurrected Savior—about serving one another in the Church.
No, God is not saying to not help those in need outside the community of believers, but He IS saying we take care of our own first.
No, that doesn’t mean we’re to make all believers fat and sassy while others languish in poverty.
Yes, it means we’re to be sure the needs of our spiritual siblings are met.
Why? Because we’re supposed to be different. We’re supposed to be odd in the world’s eyes—not because we are against everything, but because we love in ways they’ve never known.
The Amplified Bible translates from the original languages. It expands the English when the Hebrew and Greek mean more than one English word can convey. Let’s look at this verse in that translation:
“Do not forget or neglect to do kindness and good, to be generous and distribute and contribute to the needy of the church as embodiment and proof of fellowship, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
See, God wants His people to care for His people as embodiment and proof of fellowship. In other words, we will PROVE we are members of the community of believers in Jesus IF we are generous, distribute, and contribute to the needy of the Church.
It goes without saying that if we are NOT generous, distributing and contributing to the needy of the Church, we are proving otherwise. A spiritual checkup is in order.
Well, what about those needy who aren’t part of the Church? Don’t they need help, too?
Of course, they do, but we have a clear call here and in other scriptures that we’re to take care of one another IN the Church FIRST.
There are those outside the faith who will declare that if you’re not in full support of the government’s efforts to help the needy, you’re not acting like Jesus.
I balk at that. Not once do we find where believers are to be in support of government welfare services. The key word there is “government.” For far too long, we in the Church have abdicated our responsibility of caring for the needy to the government who are ill-equipped to do so.
It’s time Believer, that we become the Church Jesus died for us to be, to care for our spiritual brothers and sisters in need. Yes, by helping with food and shelter, but also by being there, listening, loving, and correcting.
And hear me, Believer, no matter your circumstances, you CAN help others. You may not have money to share, but you do have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control that became a part of you when the Spirit of God entered you at salvation. You CAN exercise those in service to others, thus helping the needy. It’s time to stop thinking that doing good and sharing with the needy is only money and material goods. Time is our most valuable resource and too often we’re squandering it instead of using it in sacrifice to the God of our salvation.
Let’s start today. Let’s open our eyes, ears, and hearts to allow God to show us where to serve Him. As we walk through our church buildings (and elsewhere) we should see the hurting and needy. We can offer a word, develop a relationship, and become a meeter of needs.
“That’s not me! I’m not a people person!” Yeah, I get that. I’m not either.
BUT… that’s why it’s called a sacrifice. Time to get started.
Coffee, Bible, Journal.
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