Ministering to the Least (Part 1)

If you spend enough time working outdoors in the sun, it will soon become evident when the sun has affected you. A lot of people will avoid the sun, because they want to remain cool indoors and they don’t want to be overrun by the heat. On a hot, humid day, I can hardly blame them.

According to Dr. Tony Evans, it will also be clear when the SON has affected you. And one of the key ways to see that effect is in the lasting impact a follower of Jesus has on those he or she touches, and in turn how those people make an impact on others still, and so on and so forth. It’s what Francis Chan refers to as the “multiply movement” or disciples making disciples.

In the next few posts, I’ll highlight key points from one of Dr. Evans’ sermon series titled #Second: Rekindling a Heart for Others—Ministering to the Least.

The Bible makes it quite clear that those who do not touch the lives of others, have been unaffected by the Son (Jesus Christ). No matter how many church services a Christian attends, the amount of hallelujahs a believer throws into the air, praises they call attention to—if lives are not benefitted, it doesn’t matter. The more time a person spends hanging out in God’s presence, the more sensitive they become to others’ needs. This is the tangible way that we can tell that God has rubbed off on us. If we hang out with the Son long enough, we will start to sweat love, instead of being content hanging out in the cool sanctuary, according to Dr. Evans.

In today’s society, too many of us will spend hours just waiting in line for a celebrity’s autograph or photo opportunity. And even if the goal is achieved and the proof is acquired, the celebrity will never even know that fan’s name, let alone remember it, even though the fan might brag about hanging out in their presence.

Yet, in Scripture, we learn that God calls a true celebrity, somebody who touches somebody else who needs them, in the name of God.

How to Treat Others

Matthew 25:31-40

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

To sum it up, Jesus is essentially saying, “The way I know you did it for Me, is that you did it for them.”

Dr. Evans has a great analogy. He says, have you ever had someone buy something for you on your birthday that you did not want, did not ask for, and could not use? This type of gift becomes a “wasted gift.” They gave you something that was useless to you. A lot of people give Jesus stuff He doesn’t want because they simply feel they have to do something—so they give Him just anything.

Yet, what Jesus says He wants from us is to touch the life of another in His name.

And especially when we touch the life of another who can do absolutely nothing for us. It runs contrary to our quid pro quo society—you scratch my back, I scratch your back. Our relationship with Jesus should not be like this. A relationship with Him is not just a “business transaction.” Give the love you say you have for Him and TRANSFER it. The more God sees you do this, the more blessed the Son will be on you.

An Inconvenient Truth

“We get so used to the convenience that we forget those who live in the inconvenience.”

In our own stressful circumstances, many of us think that the issues we face don’t allow us the time to help those in greater need.

So let us be reminded of the Christians living in Syria, Iraq, or Yemen just to name a few countries where Christian persecution is commonplace. Talk about stressful circumstances! These brothers and sisters are praying that they just live to see another day before the persecutors come and kill them.

Sure, our issues may seem like an inconvenience at the time, but the situation for these followers of Christ is truly a problem. And chances are, you’re not facing a crisis quite like that. Yet those people refuse to deny Christ, even when their head is about to be chopped off. But how often do we deny Christ—even with our raises, promotions and good fortunes?

“I complained that I had no shoes, until I saw the man who had no feet. It changed my perspective.”

Look, you’re not expected to meet every need. As Dr. Evans explains, “You can’t, I can’t, we can’t. But the need you see, and the need God gives you a heart for—and you have some capacity to address it—that’s God calling your number. He’s saying, ‘this one is you.'”

So this week, if you see someone in need, don’t turn a blind eye. Go help him or her. Allow God to equip you with the strength to overcome your initial hesitation to reflect the love He shows us. Even if what you think you’re doing isn’t much, it is huge in His eyes. And could simply mean the world for that person.