Rss

  • twitter

Help Somebody – Please!

image

The book of James is all about doing and taking action. The reality is that before we go any further talking about doing we must first address the issue of our attitude. God has always been into motives and while what we do is very important He also looks at why we do what we do. It we serve without the right attitude we submit to legalistic guidleines. It becomes all about a list of “do’s” and “do not’s.” All you hear is you “must do that” and you “can’t do that.”

James focuses having the right attitude and having the right actions. Obedience in both areas is required. Legalism produces the wrong motives while a lack of service produces the wrong actions. It can become easy to criticize what others are doing because it is different but we must remember that different is not necessarily wrong, it is just different. Many of the tried and true methods we are comfortable with today were radical, outside the box, innovations at one time.

First, we must have the right attitude! This places the focus on who I am. James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Attitude is everything because if we serve with the wrong attitude we become easily frustrated and eventually will burn-out emotionally.

Here is what you need to consider in having the right attitude:

  1. Guard your heart! Pro 4:23 says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” You must be careful to not allow bitterness, envy, jealousy, or pride to control your heart. A great way to test your heart condition is to listen to yourself. How do you sound? Are you more positive or negative? Do you talk more about your needs or the needs of others?
  2. Change your thinking! Pro 23:7 says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Once again listen to yourself. Do you gripe and complain more than you tell others how wonderful a God you serve? Todd Wilson said it this way, “You can’t always change your context or the hand you are dealt, but you can change your thinking.” What and who does your mind dwell upon?
  3. Adjust your focus! Phi 2:3 makes this clear, “Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.” How do we take the necessary steps to no longer be consumers of the goods our church offers to becoming contributers for the cause of Christ? The truth is that there is more joy found in serving others than in serving yourself.
  4. Know the real treasure of Christianity! It is not that we get to do good, or that we are bleesed when we help others, nor is it even that we get to go to heaven one day. The real treasure of Christianity is that we get to know God intimately and personally. I Jn 3:1 says, “Look at how great a love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children. And we are!”

Second, we must have the right actions! Now the focus is on what I will do for Christ because I have the right attitude. James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” This is a challenge to focus on those who need our help the most. God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others. Who is it, in your circle of influence, that needs your help?

Here is what you need to consider in having the right actions:

  1. Have a servant’s heart! It starts with leaders who have a love and concern for others. When we send church planters to their communities we challenge them to go serve their city and then God will build His church. Remember leaders, if you want people in your church to have a servant’s heart they must see it in you. Speed of the leader, speed of the team.
  2. Love your city! When Jesus saw the multitudes He was moved with compassion and as He looked over Jerusalem He wept. Daniel Im puts it this way, “To many times we have a vision for our church but not for our city. Develop a vision for your city.” If your church closed it’s doors would anyone in your community even notice?
  3. Redefine church membership! The true definition of membership is not attendance but rather service. I Corinthians 12 tells us that if a member of the body is not functioning then it is not fulfilling it’s role properly. Do not allow atrophy to set in where there is a gradual decline in your effectiveness and vigor due to underuse or neglect. Make sure you are exercising your serving muscles.
  4. Glorify God and spread His fame! Be a church where the glory of your church  takes a back seat to the glory of God. All of us need to talk more about the gospel of Jesus Christ than we talk about our church. Hopefully, you are excited about your church, enjoy your church, and want to invite others to come to your church. However, make sure you tell them about Jesus. Tell them how wonderful a savior you have and that you would much rather talk about Him because He is what it is really all about!

Healthy Christians and healthy churches are helping others spiritually and physically. Find someone to serve. Look for ways that your church can be a blessing to your community. Help somebody – Please!