Serving: SHIFT YOUR FOCUS

Chuck Colson has observed that when the Communists took over Russia in 1917, they did not make Christianity illegal. Their constitution, in fact, guaranteed freedom of religion. But they did make it illegal for the church to do any “good works.” No longer could the church fulfil its historic role in feeding the hungry, educating the children, housing the orphan, or caring for the sick. What was the result? After 70 years, the church was largely irrelevant to the communities in which it dwelt. Would the community weep if your church were to pull out of the city? Would anybody even notice if you left?

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How to keep your enthusiasm. Rick Warren

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:11-12 NIV).

To reach your goals, you have to figure out how to maintain your enthusiasm over the long haul.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing great is ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” I believe that with all of my heart. I have found it to be true in my life. You’ve got to have passion and enthusiasm, or you’re never going to make it to the finish line.

Most people would consider me an enthusiastic person, and I am. But I haven’t been an enthusiastic person for a week or a month. My enthusiasm has not waned over a year or five or 10 years. I have been consistently enthusiastic about the goals that I’ve set for more than 30 years.

How do you do that? How do you stay enthusiastic day after day in spite of delays and difficulties and dead ends and problems and pressures and criticisms? How do you stay enthusiastic for more than 30 years?

Positive thinking is not enough. Pulling yourself up by your psychological bootstraps is not enough. Talking yourself into optimism is not enough.

The way you stay enthusiastic for a lifetime is found in the word “enthusiasm.” The word “enthusiasm” comes from the Greek word en theos. En is the Greek word for the English word “in.” Theos is the Greek word for “God.” So en theos means to be “in God.”

When you get in God, you will be enthusiastic. It’s the kind of enthusiasm that isn’t affected by the economy or the weather or your circumstances. It’s eternal because you are tied to the eternal God. You are in Christ.

Paul tells us how to do this in Romans 12:11-12. He says, “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (NIV).

If you want to reach your goals, you need to tap into God’s power by being joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.

Pray this prayer today: “Dear God, I don’t want to go another day without you in my life, controlling every part of my heart. I offer you my body. I dedicate myself to you. In light of all you’ve done for me, I give myself as a living sacrifice to you as a spiritual act of worship.

“I humbly admit that I need help. I want you to renew my mind. Help me to think the way you want me to think. Please forgive me for my pride. I don’t want to think more highly of myself than I should. My faith needs to grow, and I need your help to set goals that can be measured so I can manage them. Forgive me for trying to change on my own.

“I want to fill my life with love. I want to fill my life with you. Help me to get group support. Help me to take delight in honouring other people, to focus on giving my life away so that you can take care of my needs. I want to nurture my enthusiasm by being in you. Help me to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. I give myself to you. In your name I pray. Amen.”

 

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Serving: The Example of Jesus

Jesus gave us a model for the work of the church at the Last Supper. While his disciples kept proposing more organization –Hey, let’s elect officers, establish a hierarchy, set standards of professionalism – Jesus quietly picked up a towel and basin of water and began to wash their feet. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you,” he said (John 13:15). I have come to recognize this spirit of service as the single greatest hallmark of a church doing the will of God.  Philip Yancey – Church: Why Bother?

 

  • John 13:1-17 Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.[a] 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas,[b] son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” 8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” 9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!” 10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,[c] to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.

 

 

  • Luke 17:7-10 “Suppose one of you has a servant who comes in from plowing the field or tending the sheep. Would you take his coat, set the table, and say, ‘Sit down and eat’? Wouldn’t you be more likely to say, ‘Prepare dinner; change your clothes and wait table for me until I’ve finished my coffee; then go to the kitchen and have your supper’? Does the servant get special thanks for doing what’s expected of him? It’s the same with you. When you’ve done everything expected of you, be matter-of-fact and say, ‘The work is done. What we were told to do, we did.’ ”

 

It is impossible to truly serve others until we are totally secure in who we are.  Jesus demonstrates this.

John 13:3-5 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.  

What this is saying is that Jesus knew who he was.   He was totally secure in his identity.   So he could do the menial task.    He didn’t need others to serve him in order to feel good.    He didn’t need anyone’s approval.    He was not seeking status.

Shovel prayer

MAKING SERVICE A JOY

An amusing story was told to me by the manager of a New York hotel. The great Paderewski occupied a suite there a number of years ago during one of his seasons at Carnegie Hall. It was the master’s custom to practice for a couple of hours every morning on the magnificent instrument that he had brought with him.

On the third morning of his stay an angry lady stormed into the manager’s office and said, “Someone is hammering on an old tin can piano every morning across the corridor from me. This is the third day. It is driving me mad, and unless you stop it I shall leave immediately.”

The astonished manager remonstrated, “But madam, that is Paderewski himself!”

The lady nearly fainted with surprise and said, “Paderewski! Oh, that’s different. Of course I had not the slightest idea. I adore good music. I am an excellent musician myself. Please say nothing at all about it.” The hotel man was much amused to note that thereafter, for the remainder of Paderewski’s stay, the good woman kept the door of her apartment wide open and entertained a party of friends there every morning while he practiced.

What was the difference? The room? The hotel? The music? No! The only thing that changed was the woman’s attitude. Before, she was irritated and annoyed; now, she was thrilled.

Often our own attitude needs some serious readjustment. The next time you are tempted to complain about your service to the Lord, stop and think about whom you are serving. What a privilege it is to know Jesus and to be His co-worker. A love for the Lord takes the dead weight out of service and puts wings to it. Love makes serving Christ much easier.

The story is told of a farmhand who had worked for a married couple for several years. As time went on, the couple grew older and older and they couldn’t do as much they had and the farm was beginning to look a little shabby. The paint on the barn was peeling. The fences had holes in them and slats were loose. The gravel road had potholes in it. Shingles on top of the farmhouse were beaten and weathered and needed replacing. But as the farmhand made his way to milk the cows each day, he thought: What is that to me? It’s not my farm.

Then, one day the farmer and his wife asked him to come for dinner. They told him how much he had meant to them.

They told him that they had no children to inherit the farm, so they wanted to give it to HIM when they died.

The next day, the farmhand was walking to the nursing barn, he noticed the paint on the barn. In a few days he’d painted the barn and fixed the fence, and in the next few weeks he was putting a new roof on the farmhouse and putting new gravel on the road.

Why would he do that? What made the difference in his attitude? He was now an heir. And as a Son he began to treat the old farm different than he ever had before.

And so it is with us. We are heirs to the Kingdom of God. And because we are heirs we have the joy of knowing that what we do, we do because of the fabulous gift of salvation our Father has given us.

(From a sermon by Jeff Strite, entitled, “Beyond Servanthood” 8/26/2012)

Serving: What is it? What is it not? The opposite. The counterfeit.

VOLUNTEERS AND SERVANTS

“Volunteers raise their hand to be called on.
Servants are called by the Hand of God.
Volunteers do work for God.
Servants do work with God.
Volunteers get tired of the work,
Servants are tired in the work.
Volunteers pray their work will succeed.
Servants succeed as they pray for their work.
Volunteers serve from their commitment.
Servants serve in their surrender.
Volunteers come and go as they please.
Servants are pleased to come and stay.
Volunteers are faced with ministry problems.
Servants are faced with ministry opportunities.
Volunteers teach the Bible Story to others.
Servants are the Living Bible Story to others.
Volunteers want to be led in ministry.
Servants lead in ministry.
Volunteers love the Ministry
Servants love Jesus in the ministry.
Volunteers serve under their supervisor.
Servants serve God alone.
Volunteers see their ministry as small.
Servants see the world as their ministry.
Volunteers say, “This is the Day the Lord has made?
Servants say, “This is the Day the Lord has made!!”
Volunteers are excited when they succeed.
Servants are excited to make others succeed.”

Serving challenges our identity

John 13:3-5 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

The real test of a saint is not one’s willingness to preach the gospel, but one willingness to do something like washing the disciples feet – that is being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation, but count as everything for God. Oswald Chambers

Serving challenges our purpose

Ephesians 2:10 God has created us in Christ Jesus to live lives filled with good works that he has prepared for us to do.
1 Peter 4:10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

Isaiah 58:6-9
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the LORD will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply

Serving challenges our attitude.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave.

Have the Attitude of Christ
Philippians 2: 1-11 Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose. 3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b]; he took the humble position of a slave[c]
and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,[d]
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 9 Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honour and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 12:9-13  Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection,[e] and take delight in honouring each other. 11 Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.[f] 12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. 13 When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Serving God

WHAT SERVING IS NOT! THE OPPOSITE OF SERVING
• Satisfying the sinful nature.
• Self-importance
• Ego, self-absorbed
• Consuming
• Withholding
• Refusing

Galatians 5:13  For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

THE COUNTERFEIT OF SERVING
• Serving others with an agenda.
• Trying to impress others.
• Not accepting those who attempt to serve us.
• Avoiding the unimportant opportunities to serve.
• Unwilling to do the little stuff.
• Serving under compulsion or guilt.
• Volunteering.

 

Serving: Where to start. Practices to begin with

matt 20 28PRACTICAL WAYS TO BEGIN
1. Serve God where you are: Look for ways you can serve through the day. He who does not serve God where he is would not serve God anywhere else. Charles Spurgeon
2. Secretly do an act of service this week. The true test of servanthood is what happens when we are treated like a servant.
3. Start each day by asking God how you can serve him today.
4. Meditate and memorize Matthew 20:28,Phillipians 2:5-7
5. Reflect on how you could serve your spouse, your boss, your church. Servants don’t need to be noticed. Servants don’t need to be thanked.
6. Identify how you can overcome the 3 challenges of serving

Philip 2 5

“There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things.” – Dwight L. Moody

Serve. Charles Stanley

Christians often ask, “What is God’s will for my life?” We know we’re to obey any command spelled out in Scripture, but what about individual guidance for our lives? I believe God directs us through opportunities He gives each day—some may be major direction-changers, but many are simply small occasions to serve Him by helping others.

Sometimes the openings God gives seem like obstructions to our plans.
We could think of our lives as a continuous series of opportunities orchestrated by God to lead us into His will. But sometimes the openings He gives seem like obstructions to our plans. I remember a time the phone rang while I was preparing a sermon. At first I saw it as an obstacle to my service for the Lord. But it was actually a chance to make a big difference by helping to bring reconciliation between the caller and his elderly father.

You probably have similar stories of disruptions that proved to be godly opportunities. How we respond to unexpected and often unwanted interruptions reveals our priorities. Are we willing to be inconvenienced in order to love and care for others? We know we should love God with all our heart and our neighbour as ourselves, but these truths are easier to preach than to live out.

As you begin to view interruptions from God’s perspective, watch what happens—not just in how others are blessed but in your own excitement at the privilege of serving.

WEEK FIVE – The Satisfaction of Serving : Mahi Āwhina

Why Serve?

Royalty is my identity.  Servanthood is my assignment.  Intimacy with God is my life source – Bill Johnson

Our attitude and our service comes because we follow a King who is a servant.   It comes out of gratitude for the wonderful things He has done.     It comes from a heart that He has been changed.

1 Samuel 12:24  But be sure to fear the Lord and faithfully serve him. Think of all the wonderful things he has done for you.

Serving is fundamental: You can’t be a Christian and not serve.      That is an oxymoron.  We serve a servant king.  We are all called to serve as His followers.

Jesus said:

Matthew 20:28 “ For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Church serving

We are part of a body.  We need each other serving out our purpose and calling.

One Body with Many Parts

1 Corinthians 12: 12-31 12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles,[e] some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.[f]

14 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. 15 If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?

18 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. 19 How strange a body would be if it had only one part! 20 Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. 21 The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”

22 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. 23 And the parts we regard as less honourable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, 24 while the more honourable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honour and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. 25 This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honoured, all the parts are glad.

27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. 28 Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church:

first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.

29 Are we all apostles? Are we all prophets? Are we all teachers? Do we all have the power to do miracles? 30 Do we all have the gift of healing? Do we all have the ability to speak in unknown languages? Do we all have the ability to interpret unknown languages? Of course not! 31 So you should earnestly desire the most helpful gifts.

But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all.

 

The purpose of freedom. Pete Briscoe

I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.  — Thomas Jefferson

Freedom really is a dangerous thing, particularly if we misunderstand the purpose of our freedom. We are free. In fact, this freedom in Christ is what we are called to—made for—it’s our home… but to what end? What is the purpose of freedom? You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13)

Paul told the Galatians their freedom existed for the purpose of serving each other humbly in love. He warned against indulgence and then called them to service. There’s that decision again. We aren’t supposed to use this freedom to indulge.

So then, why does this freedom exist? What’s the difference?

Indulgence says, “Life is about me.” Service says, “Life is about others.” Paul says there is one way to tell whether you are functioning in the flesh or the Spirit. Just ask the question, Who consumes me?

If your thoughts are mostly about yourself and how you fit in the world—or even how the world relates to you—you are likely indulging the flesh. But if you find your thoughts consumed with Jesus, and then drifting toward others and their well-being (and then you find yourself caring for them), you are likely walking in the Spirit.

Radical yet simple, isn’t it?

God Who Sees, I admit that I have bought into society’s idea that my life is a reflection of me and not a reflection of You. Lead me away from self-centred indulgence and give me eyes to see opportunities to serve. I do love others; I just don’t know where to start. Show me right now, and throughout this day, how You want to live through me to serve others in love. Amen.

Generosity: SHIFT YOUR FOCUS

Give

  • 2 Cor 9:5-10 So I thought I should send these brothers ahead of me to make sure the gift you promised is ready. But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given grudgingly. Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.  “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[c] And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor.     Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”[d] 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity[e] in you

 

  • Luke 6:38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full–pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.

  • Psalm 112:5-7,9 Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honour.

The Bible always speaks well of generosity but it has nothing good to say about stinginess. The Bible teaches that wise and judicious generosity is the way to blessing and prosperity, but that stinginess leads to poverty.   The psalmist here pictures a righteous man. He says, “He will never be shaken; he will be remembered forever.” Why? What are the causes of that man’s stability? He’s generous, he lends freely, he has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor. Therefore the psalmist says, “His righteousness endures forever.” I believe that many of us today need to recall how central to righteousness is our attitude to the poor, to those who are in need. God has nothing good to say about those who neglect the cry and the need of the poor. Let’s remember that that’s essential to establishing our righteousness. Derek Prince

How to Walk Alongside the Poor

By Craig Greenfield • June 18, 2018

“You say you care about the poor? Then tell me, what are their names?” —Gustavo Guttierrez

Peruvian theologian and kick-butt priest on the margins, Gustavo Gutierrez, put his finger on a sore spot for most Western Christians when he spoke these prophetic words and asked a simple but super awkward question: “Um … tell me, what are their names?”

Something within us instinctively knows that if we truly care about the poor—we cannot hold them at arm’s length.  As followers of Jesus, we follow the One who came to “bring good news to the poor” (Luke 4:18), but didn’t settle for dropping bread rolls from heaven to feed the 5,000, or thunderbolts from the sky to heal the disabled.

He came—in the flesh. To know you. To know your name.

You’ve probably experienced this pull, every time you feel drawn towards personalizing your own giving. You want to know whom and where and what you are giving towards.

You want to know their names.

And I think this instinct is right and good. We all somehow sense that giving in the context of relationship is more transformative. Because in the context of relationship we have the opportunity to be transformed ourselves.

So, here are three ways you can move in that direction:

1. PRACTICE DIRECT ONLINE GIVING.

Let’s start with the easiest: Personalized Giving 101.

Kiva.org is probably the most well-known online broker between those with cash and African women with cool ideas.

According to their website, you can empower people around the world for as little as $25. And the best thing is, you can select the individual person you’d like to help, see a photo of them and read about how your loan will specifically help them to overcome poverty.

You should know that Kiva is a “middle-man”—they work through local micro-credit organizations that are operating on the ground. At one time I worked as an adviser to just such a micro-credit organization serving around 1,000 impoverished women in the slums of Cambodia.

These micro-credit organizations do good work, but they usually do not work with the absolute poorest of the poor, because those who are barely able to feed their families will need to spend any cash they get their hands on to feed their kids and find shelter. Life for them is hand to mouth.

Most of these micro-credit organizations also require some form of security on the loan, such as a house title. These and other safeguards mean that Kiva-type loans are best suited to the working poor, rather than the poorest of the poor.

But don’t let that put you off. Micro-credit is an important piece of the puzzle in overcoming poverty and heaps of people have been helped through these initiatives.

2. GO AND SEE. COME BACK AND GIVE.

A step deeper is to go and see, with your own eyes. Allow your heart to grieve. And then come back and give, faithfully … and sacrificially. These types of Vision Trips, as opposed to Short Term Mission Trips, maintain a focus on long-term relationships rather than an easy two-week solution. They are built on a commitment to embrace ongoing lifestyle change, rather than a quick fix.

In fact, you may return many times, building a deeper relationship with those you met every time you go. If you can, visit with an organization that will allow you to immerse yourself among the poor by staying with a local family. Then you will be more likely to understand something of their context, rather than just seeing the outsider view.

When you go, don’t be a wise-ass and try to bypass the charity you are connected with by sending cash directly to the poor people you meet. By doing that, you are likely to undermine the delicate balance of empowerment they are working for.

Instead, have the humility to submit to the wisdom of those working on the ground, who know the culture and situation, and know the best way to strengthen the local community. They will guide you in the best way to give.

And remember—you cannot romanticize the poor you meet on a mission trip, then come back and demonize the poor on your own doorstep (or at your border).

3. WALK ALONGSIDE SOMEONE WHO WALKS ALONE.

At this point are you ready to try “advanced-level” connection with the poor? Where you not only know their names, but they become your friends, even family?

I’m particularly passionate about this idea, because it underpins the vision of the movement I lead in the Non-Western world called Alongsiders. We’re convinced that every follower of Jesus can walk alongside one vulnerable person in their own neighbourhood.

Specifically, we mobilize and equip young people in Asia and Africa aged 16–30 to walk alongside vulnerable kids in their own communities.

But don’t worry about our age range—anyone can do this. It’s simple “love your neighbour” stuff straight from the teachings of Jesus.

Once those relationships are formed, they allow for a deeper, more beautiful way of giving—in mutuality. In fact, at this level of relationship, your giving is much more like sharing, because your relationship is give and take. This is the most empowering form of “giving to the poor”—where you are willing to learn and be transformed as well.

Are you ready to do something radical? Take a look at this video below and learn from someone who we normally think of as “poor”—as a beneficiary, a client or even as a victim. And see that she has a lot to teach us. That though she may be economically poor, she is relationally and spiritually rich.


http://www.outreachmagazine.com/features/service-features/30735-walk-alongside-poor.html

Generosity: The Example of Jesus

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2 Corinthians 8:9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.

The Standard For Generosity – Oswald Chambers.

Not how much we give, but what we do not give, is the test of our Christianity. When we speak of giving we nearly always think only of money. Money is the life-blood of most of us. We have a remarkable trick—when we give money we don’t give sympathy; and when we give sympathy we don’t give money. …

If my heart is right with God, every human being is my neighbour. … We measure our generosity by the standards of men; Jesus says, “Measure your love for men by God’s love for them, and if you are My disciple, you will love your neighbour as I have loved you.”

The Final Judgment
Matthew 25:31-46 31But when the Son of Man[d] comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations[e] will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “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. 35 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. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “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? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “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!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. 42For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.”
Parable of the Good Samaritan
Luke 10:30-37 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[d] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[e] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbour to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”

 

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