2017-09-13 / Faith

The ministry of helping others

Lessons from the Heart
By Pastor David Osborne

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58, NIV.

Some time ago, I was getting out of my car to walk into a funeral home to conduct a funeral service for a person I had never met. At that moment I thought, “Am I really going to make a difference today?” I was tired, and a bit overwhelmed with a busy ministry schedule and the thought of many other tasks that still needed to get done that week. In the middle of the groan that came from my soul came the familiar voice of our Savior by His Spirit saying, “Your ‘showing up’ changes everything for them.” I knew in an instant that regardless of how well I conducted the service, which is a pressure I always feel, I had already provided the family and friends of the deceased something they all desperately needed at that moment. They just needed someone to care enough to bring the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ to their moment of need.

Psalm 34:18 reads, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Throughout my Christian life, I have seen many times how the Lord will use our willingness to “just show up” in order to provide help, comfort, and encouragement for those facing difficulties in life.

I want to encourage you today with this simple but powerful truth. That truth is every time you offer yourself in some way to be a help to those in any kind of need you are fulfilling a great ministry of Jesus on this earth.

Jesus said, “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.” Then the King will say to those on his right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” Then these righteous ones will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?” And the King will say, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” Matthew 25:31- 40, NLT.

Through the years, I have found this passage to be very encouraging. I have learned that no matter how great or small our efforts are in helping others, our help really does matter. It matters to those we help, and it matters to our Savior, Jesus. Always remember, “your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”1 Corinthians 15:58. Go and be blessed in your ministry of helping others.

David Osborne is the pastor at the Burlington Church of Christ.

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