With the new year coming soon, let’s take some time to evaluate our lives and our hearts. Let’s ask ourselves, ‘Am I living as God would have me live, or am I living for what pleases me?’ And maybe it’s not that we’re always trying to please ourself, maybe it’s that we are always taking the easy way out. That in itself is a sense of pleasing ourself. We don’t want to be uncomfortable, so we don’t help when we could help, or we don’t give when we can give. Life itself seems so much easier if we don’t ‘rock the boat’. Maybe that’s the problem with the church these days. We want to go to church, tithe, fellowship and then go home. That’s it, we’ve done our ‘Christian duty’. We listen to the message, ‘talk Christian’, and avoid sinful things - and we should. We’re ok with supporting a church, even financially, that does good things as long as we don’t have to. “I can’t help, I’m too busy”, we say. In other words, don’t ask me to change what I am doing or get out of my comfort zone and serve. Now let’s look at our heart. Really, our reason for not doing more is a heart issue. Again, we are way too comfortable to change things. In our nation, many of us have been so blessed with abundance that we get comfortable and become complacent. Our focus is on our own needs instead of others’ needs. That again is a heart issue. Our heart needs to be directed on God’s Word, His Holy Spirit and serving where He would have us serve. This must become preeminent in our life. As Scripture says in Matthew 6:33. ‘But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.’ We must be seeking God and what His will is for us every morning. That part of the chapter in Matthew talks about worrying about our physical needs being met. This is us! We make sure that all of our own needs are met and that we are comfortable. Jesus says not to worry about these things, seek God first and then our basic needs will be taken care of. If we would just follow this principle! One of the ways that God meets the needs of the poor is through the church. Throughout time, the church or in Old Testament time, those who believe in God (the Jewish people), have served the needs of the poor. God even commanded the Israelites to provide for the needy in Leviticus 23:22, ‘When you reap the harvest of your land, moreover, you shall not reap to the very corners of your field nor gather the gleaning of your harvest; you are to leave them for the needy and the alien. I am the Lord your God.’
So many people today long for more, more of the physical and more of the spiritual. Let God use us to help. Let’s look at our lives and hearts again and plan to serve God by serving others. Areas to consider: foster kids, adopt, native Americans/Canadians, ‘adopting’ into your family foster kids who age out of the system, sex trafficking victims, school-aged kids, teens, etc. Pray about and look into building up the lives and hearts of others and letting God restore ours.