Show Practical Love to Sufferers and to the Needy
Yes, caring brothers gifted to serve the needy, you can combine your work with a church’s other vital ministries, helping it fulfill Jesus’ Great Commandment. Believers do not normally require a relief or development agency to perform humanitarian work in their place.
Yes, Lord, we will obey your most strongly emphasized commandment by showing compassionate, practical love to the needy and suffering. Help us balance and combine your Great Commandment with your Great Commission.
Jesus commanded and explained how to love our needy neighbor, when he told a story about a Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37); we are to offer practical service. In worship sessions and informal meetings, take time to discuss and plan practical ways in which to serve them.
“Whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue but in action, truthfully.” 1 John 3:17-18
Jesus’ two-fold great commandment requires us to love God and neighbor, and to make disciples.
You can serve the needy more effectively by working synergistically as a loving church body. The Holy Spirit harmonizes diverse gifts to energize the body in ways that isolated individuals, programs and agencies that specialize in mercy ministry alone cannot attain.
Most folk welcome prayer, if you ask them if they have a need for which you can pray. Also, offer to help in other ways. The Son of God took time to serve many in need. Ask later on what God did to answer prayer.
Many all around you are in emotional or physical pain. Many children and rebellious teenagers are lonely, and they crave caring attention from adults. However, one must overcome the mistrust of children who have been mistreated. If you listen to them, then they will listen to you.
Show friendship, and many will reveal deep hurts, welcome prayer and appreciate your practical help. Doing this proves easier, where you can mix with others apart from distractions, such as on an outing with young people or friends.
Resources For While You …
Encourage God’s people to show mercy. Assert the importance that Jesus gave mercy work; perform this powerful dramatization of His parable of the sheep and goats:
Salt the earth. Inspire believers to do works of mercy with these bold examples:
Extract poverty’s root. Little good comes from developing communities materially without dealing with spiritual needs, superstitions and faulty worldviews that prolong poverty and injustice. This brief case study provides valuable insights:
Fill empty stomachs. Enact how Jesus multiplied a small gift to serve many:
Console aching hearts Reassure believers who suffer physically or emotionally, by enacting briefly Job’s torment. This skit shows how God let Job suffer, to reveal God’s sovereignty and correct friends’ hurtful assumptions:
Care for needy believers as the apostles did, scripted to reenact:
Learn to forgive, as Peter did, a brief skit:
Showing compassion to a needy neighbor, as the Samaritan did, scripted to act out:
Showing mercy and bringing justice:
Common Traps To Avoid
Spread dependency. Avoid simply giving material aid to the needy. Rather, train them to deal with their own needs.
Rely too much on donations from others to deal with the needy, instead of simply making a sacrifice to help them.
Remain too proud or too busy to be a servant, simply throwing money at a need.
Try to deal alone with serious needs, instead of forming a dedicated task group.
Leaving compassionate ministry up to deacons, agencies or paid professionals.