The gospel tells us that our greatest ‘need’ is to be reconciled with God through Jesus Christ. When we think of our own needs, we usually think of something else…a new car, a better job, more peace at home, and the list goes on. When I ask my kids what they need, the list usually has to do with a new toy, a Nintendo 3ds, or to be able to stay up later at night. 😉
The truth is, when we think of needs, we are usually voicing what we want instead. When Paul was in Athens he saw a true need and felt compelled to intervene…
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. Acts 17:16–17 (NIV)
Paul could have gone on his way, ignored what was going on in this city and continued on his journey. Instead, he saw their true need and wanted to help meet it. He talked with them and shared the answer to their greatest need. As followers of Jesus we should be compelled to help others in their time of needs. It will always mean sharing the gospel, but can also include giving a meal to someone who is hungry, a listening ear to someone who is hurting, or some other act of kindness to help alleviate the suffering of others.
As you think about those in your circle of influence (which is probably larger than you might think), what needs do you see? You may not be able to meet all of them but what about the ones that you can? You might find that by meeting the needs of others, you are also meeting some of your own most basic needs to serve like Jesus.
…But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26–28 (ESV)
Truth: God cares about what’s going on in the lives of people around you.
Question: What are you doing to show that you are concerned about the needs of people around you?