He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?
I first heard the above scripture as a youngster in church. Of all the theology spoken with much gravitas by our pastor, that one verse had a profound impact upon me. Here, God is giving us a blueprint for doing what He considers to be good. We are to practice justice... to love kindness and mercy... and to be humble and not proud and haughty.Micah 6:8 [AMP]
Pastor Lon Solomon made note of the attitude of a tax collector in the Bible. This man, unlike the self-righteous Pharisees, humbled himself before God and prayed, “Be merciful to me, a sinner.” This man did not approach God in a proud or haughty manner... and as a result, his prayer was honored by God. As we take on the right attitude, we can be vessels that God can use.
And how can we expect God to use us... even if we are average every day Christians? We found the answer to that question in the following message from Pastor Francis Ng.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in the power of your hand to do so.Dan Clark recalls when he was a teenager, he and his father once stood in line to buy tickets for the circus. They noticed a poor family immediately in front of them. The parents were holding hands. They had eight children, all probably under the age of twelve.
Proverbs 3:27 [NKJV]
He could tell that the circus was going to be a new adventure for them. The attendant asked how many tickets they wanted. The man proudly responded, “I’d like to buy eight children’s tickets and two adult tickets.”
When the attendant quoted the price, the man’s wife let go of his hand and her head drooped.
The man leaned a little closer and asked, “How much did you say?”
The attendant quoted the price again.
The man obviously didn't have the money. He looked crushed. Clark says his father watched all this, put his hand in his pocket, pulled out a twenty dollar bill and dropped it on the ground. His father then reached down, picked up the note, tapped the man on the shoulder and said, “Excuse me, I think this must be yours.”
The man knew exactly what was going on. He looked straight into Clark’s father's eyes, took his hand, shook it, and with a tear streaming down his cheek, replied, “Thank you, thank you, sir.”
“This really means a lot to me and my family.” Clark and his father went back to their car and drove home. They didn't have enough money to go to the circus that night, but it didn’t matter. They’d blessed a whole family, and it was something neither family would ever forget. That's called “doing good.”
As we approach the holiday season -- where thoughts often turn towards buying gifts, having meals, and traveling to be with friends and family -- let us not forget to do good where we have the ability to do so. Specifically, in reaching out and touching the lives of others.
This is not specifically referring to the giving of financial blessings... although that is often needed. Sometimes it can be as simple as taking a few moments out of our schedules to touch someone’s life in ways that may seem trival... but that often have eternal reverberations.
I was recollecting the Blizzard of ‘85 with a friend who was in San Antonio Texas (as I was) during that event. My friend was amazed at how a normally toasty town in South Texas could be inundated with a historic amount of snow. But I also remember what appeared to be a homeless bum sitting on the sidewalk near my new apartment, begging for cash. He had a bottle of booze in his hands and I figured there would be no way I would give my money to support some drunk’s alcohol habit.
Imagine my surprise when the Holy Spirit spoke and directed me to give $50 (a tithe I had set aside for the following Sunday) to the guy. I figured it had to be a mistake. I had to be imagining things. After all, that was God’s money. But after much prayer, I obeyed God and went back to give the $50 bill to the guy. Long story short... he was near the end of years of running from God. He had in his pocket a bottle of pills and was planning on washing down the pills with the vodka and ending his life. We prayed on that sidewalk and he recommitted his life to Christ. He took the money to a cheap motel nearby and called his family. That night was the blizzard that hit San Antonio. I imagine that, under other circumstances, he would be a frozen corpse. But thanks be to God who knows each of us and puts His blessings in our path.
One thing that I recall was that this young man had made an earlier attempt at cleaning up... and went to a church requesting help. He was turned away. Man, how often do we as Christians wind up dropping the ball and, worse, feeding the atheists (see our book Please Don’t Feed the Atheists at http://link2power.org).
We recently heard about a divine appointment that Melody Green experienced... she was famished and ready to grab food at a deli when a young woman interrupted her train of thought. She quickly realized that this woman had a spiritual need and chose to pray with and minister to her rather than give precedence to her growling stomach. Sound familiar?
Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town. And she began telling the people, Come, see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did! Can this be [is not this] the Christ? [Must not this be the Messiah, the Anointed One?] So the people left the town and set out to go to Him. Meanwhile, the disciples urged Him saying, Rabbi, eat something. But He assured them, I have food (nourishment) to eat of which you know nothing and have no idea. So the disciples said one to another, Has someone brought Him something to eat? Jesus said to them, My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work.As you spend time in prayer this week, ask the Lord to show you ways that you might touch someone’s life. Whether it is a financial blessing... a prayer... or whatever, be a vessel of the love of God manifest in this world.
John 4:28-34 [AMP]