The whole person of who we are needs the transformative work of the Holy Spirit to make us more like Jesus. Our minds naturally do not think His thoughts after Him, our hearts tend to run with our feelings instead of His Holy passions, and our hands long to stay closed rather than to open to others. Jesus, God in the flesh, came to reveal the mind of God, express the heart of God, and live the hands of God.
As we strive to be more like Jesus, our daily lives could include this powerful prayer “Lord, give me the eyes to see the need, and the heart to meet the need”. We often live so isolated from others with need that we become insulated from that need. If you have never visited www.globalrichlist.com, take a moment to click it right now. Even if you do not consider yourself wealthy by US standards, you will be surprised about where you stand globally. If your annual salary is $70,000 you are in the top 0.13 % of the world based on income and top 7.5 million people in annual income. Clearly there is great need around us. Oh, that our eyes could see how others are hurting, materially and spiritually.
But seeing the need is not enough. Our prayer includes a request before the Lord that He would stir our hearts to meet the need. Actually it is His heart in us that He is stirring. Jesus’ life was extremely busy. He found Himself constantly surrounded by thousands of people pressing into Him. And yet, we often see Him stopping for the least of these, the wounded and hurting people of His day. His eyes saw them and His heart was moved to bless them.
With our physical bodies, if we eat a lot but do not exercise, we become fat. So, too, when we are constantly being fed by the rich nourishment of God’s Word and with God’s people but we never exercise our faith, the result is a spiritual fatness. Jesus was in great shape. Like Him, our legacy includes rigorously exercising our faith, always looking well to the needs of others.
As parents, we have a responsibility for the health of our children. We look to feed them healthy foods (at least sometimes), we encourage them to get off the couch and away from the gaming, if only for a few hours. Physical exercise is important to the overall well being of our children. Perhaps you can find ways to exercise together, taking walks, riding bikes, going to the gym, training for the iron man (okay, I got carried away). Don’t forget that spiritual exercise is also of essential importance. There are many ways to serve God as a family, with your children. Our prayer should include “Lord, help me give my children eyes to see the need and a heart to meet the need”. That happens as we serve together.
Todd R. Marrah, Ph.D