It is so very important that Christians remember to help those who are in need. It is easy to remember to do this as a part of a congregation, such as helping an orphan’s home. However, it is also important for a Christian to be of service to others on their own time. Jesus spoke of the importance of being a humble servant before others. “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
Of course, our first priority as Christians is to be servants of God. Jesus spoke of how those who obey Him will be with Him in eternity. “If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour” (John 12:26). We should work every day to be faithful and obedient to the Lord, just as an earthly servant is to his or her master. We should learn how to be obedient to our Lord through daily study of Scripture, or else, we cannot fully know all of what God wants us to do in order to be rewarded with Heaven. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15). “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). We as Christians should work to be the best servants of God we can be, and if we make a mistake, which all of us will do at some point in time, then our Lord will forgive us if we repent. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
Another way that we can be a servant of the Lord is by helping others. Jesus spoke of the importance of helping others, and how fulfilling the physical needs of others grants a Christian passage into Heaven. “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:34-40). No matter how busy our lives are, or how much money is in our bank account, we can all find some way to help others. We are more likely to go out of our way to help those in our close circle of family and friends, as Jesus says in Matthew chapter 7; “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:9-11). Not only should we help family members and friends, but we should also help those who we come into contact with that we do not know so well.
Helping others in their time of need can influence those who have yet to become Christians to become Christians, help the erring Christians to be restored, and help the faithful Christians to continue in their faithfulness and obedience to God. People cannot learn about what God wants them to do if their primary needs for food, clothing and shelter are not met. Therefore, not only will we help others be physically able to focus on being obedient to God, but we can be positive influences to them as well.
Many good works are done by various congregations of the church of Christ. Various churches help orphan homes, shelters, as well as individuals in need, and this is a good way to help spread God’s Word to those who do not attend worship services regularly. We should always be willing to help the church of Christ in the endeavors to aid and assist the needy through being generous in our giving to the contribution on each Sunday. By giving generously, I mean that we do not just give what “extra” money that we have at the end of the week, but rather, we set aside a certain amount ahead of time to give each week, and give that amount, no matter what our financial situation is from week to week. We can also help others who are in need with money or material items that we do not give to the contribution on Sundays. Any way that we can give to others in need is pleasing unto God.
Giving time to others is also important. If we hear that someone is sick at home or in the hospital, and that person would like to have visitors, we should go to that person and offer our support and a listening ear. We should also be willing to pray with that person for his or her swift recovery. If possible, we should also visit those who are incarcerated and deliver the Message to them. I have been given the privilege to participate in the Jail Ministry in our local community, where men give Bible lessons to the male inmates, and women go to the female inmates and deliver God’s message there. Many of those who are in jail have hit a low point in their lives, and they truly appreciate Christians coming to them to study God’s Word. Jesus speaks of visiting those in prison in Matthew 25:43-45; “I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”
So, why are there people out there who do not want to help others? We all know of someone who cannot be relied on for help when help is needed. Some people are so self-absorbed and focused on what is going on in their lives that they fail to see the need in others. An example of this type of person in the Bible is the rich man, who failed to have concern for the beggar, Lazarus, because he was too focused on acquiring gain for himself (Luke 16). The rich man, who found his reward here on the earth, was punished after his death with torment, while Lazarus, who was tormented here on the Earth, found his happy reward after his death. We should want to be more humble like Lazarus, rather than selfish as the rich man. Of course, being rich will not cause a person to be punished after death. It is how a person views and uses his or her money that can determine whether nor not that person will be faithful unto God. There are examples of rich men who were faithful children of God, such as Job, Abraham, and Matthew. All of these men had great riches, but they did not allow their money to keep them from obeying God.
Even those who are not very wealthy have an issue with helping others. It seems that selfishness can affect people no matter what their financial standing is. Likewise, I have seen people who are very wealthy be extraordinarily generous when it comes to helping others. It all comes down to what you want to do with your time. Everyone does exactly what they want to do in their own time. We make sure that we watch T.V., read the newspaper, scroll through the internet, and whatever else we choose to do with our time. We should take some of our personal time and use it for the good of others. We will reap the benefits of being kind to others both here on the earth and in Heaven. We should be willing to give any material possession that we have to another who is in need of it. Also, if people ask us to do some task for them, we should not refuse to do it as long as the person is asking us to do something that is not against Scripture. “And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away (Matthew 5:41-42).
We should always take time out of our daily routines to help others. We would want the same done unto us, and we should go by the Golden Rule set forth in Luke 6:31, “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise”. Jesus was selfless, as He descended from heaven to be a servant here on the Earth to teach salvation to mankind. We should work each and every day to be more and more like Christ, which requires us to think outside of ourselves and look to the needs and concerns of others. I hope this article has you thinking about ways that you can be a service to others. If you are already making yourself a servant to those who are in need, then that is wonderful! May you find more ways to help others, because there will always be those out there in the world who are in need of physical sustenance and God’s Word ministered unto them.