If Not Us, then Who?
Part One: The Issue
By: Jennifer Miller
As I was reading through my daily search for the truth via The Bible, I let my mind ponder a few things. Then I began to pray and let all my frustration, guilt, anger, concern, hope and yes, joy, come out during this time with my Lord.
Unless you have been living under a rock, remain in a deep coma, or just are unaware of the environment around you, one can see that we are in deep trouble. Our country is hanging on by a thin thread, people are on their last nerve, and the fight between good and evil has jumped up a notch or two these past few decades. Folks I am pointing out how far we have fallen and stating that we need to stop being complacent and start waking up. God has been speaking loud and clear, yet our eyes are still closed and our ears are not open.
Can this be turned around? Only if God decides to give us another chance, but we need to make a move first. Just like the Israelites went after other gods/false gods, we, too, have strayed. Once again God extends His love and grace to us as 2 Chronicles 7:14 points out.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Yet many, especially those who profess to love Him, continue in their sin and do not look back and see the damage that resulted from our bad behavior. We failed to repent, humble ourselves and comply. We are indeed stubborn, proud, and unable to apologize for our actions. Here we are again unfortunately, but now we have become the Israelites sinning the same way.
One trait we never seem to tire of is our ability to complain. Why is this happening? We ask. Why don’t you answer us? We ask. He always answers, but we continue to seek an answer that will satisfy us and refuse to accept the one He provides.
So, as I was reading in the book of Jeremiah, the song Do Something by Matthew West popped into my head. In the song he pleads with God to do something for all the people that are struggling. God swiftly responds that He has heard and answered the request for help. God’s response was “I did, I created you.” Let’s look at this nugget of wisdom and expound on this.
One might be asking why would God, who sees all and knows everything, ask us to do something. He has the power to resolve this. Not so fast, stop and think about it. We are constantly told throughout the Word to look out for one another and to treat each other as we would expect to be treated. In fact, let’s look at Galatians 6:2 for a moment.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
God commands us to take care of others in need. We are not to ignore or deny it but respond. In part two of this series, I will get into this requirement deeper. Since we are commanded to respond that would mean to follow Christ and honor that law because of our love for Him and our moral obligation. This is a priority and we have attached a work ethic to support this.
A work ethic is defined as a principle that demonstrates hard work is intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward. It can be further explained by the following characteristics:
- Integrity. One of the most important workplace ethics is integrity. …
- Honesty. Being an honest individual means you do not deceive others by giving out misleading information. …
- Discipline. …
- Fair and respect. …
- Responsible and accountable.
What results from this? Our rewards – gifts from God. Jesus tells us several times (Matthew 5:12 and Luke 6:23 are such examples) that our work for doing good in His name will be rewarded in heaven. These are gifts from God, so that we cannot boast about this. Our reward will be a crown that we receive as a good and faithful servant and then we, in turn, place it at His feet, as our thank you for His grace and love. There are five crowns that we can receive for our faithfulness upon serving Him. The Crown of Life, the Incorruptible Crown, the Crown of Righteousness, the Crown of Glory, and the Crown of Rejoicing. Our works did not get us into heaven, only our salvation and a relationship with Christ allows us to be received into heaven. However, our works have everything to do with the rewards we are gifted upon arrival. This proves that hard work will produce good fruit and will be rewarded. When our focus is on Jesus and not ourselves, we can do good and help others if we adhere to a strong work ethic.
This ties into our moral obligation to help others. What does this mean and what is an obligation? It is an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment. Or a debt of gratitude for a service or favor. We are created to look after those in need, those without a voice, and those who cannot take care of themselves. We were meant to help others. Therein lies the problem. We fail to look past the nose on our face and see those God has placed before us. We are meant to lift up others, encourage and yes, help. Ponder on some of these verses to recognize how big of a problem this is and why we must rectify it now by standing up. I know there are a lot of verses to ponder, but there is a reason God stresses this message!
“But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
“Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done.”
“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
“ My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Matthew 5:16 and 5:42
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
“Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”
Romans 12:10 and 12:13
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Luke 3:11, 6:30-31, and 12:33-34
“John answered, ‘Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.’”
“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.”
Isaiah 1:17 and 58:10
“Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.”
“and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
“ In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Now that we can see the importance of this command, we can identify the problem (our complacency and apathy) and now we must seek to resolve it. We are called and we must respond. It is imperative that we Do Something! In my next blog, which is part two of this series, I will delve deeper into this matter. Be determined and keep yourself composed. It is time to Stand Up and Move Onward Christian soldiers…
Take care and God bless.