We live in the richest country that has ever existed in the history of the world. Even our poor are richer than the many kings of old. We know this is true by looking at their waistlines. Our country has more of a spiritual depravity problem than financial but you would never know it by the way people act today. Our big and bloated government gives handouts to many, thus taking away too many people’s desire to help those who are truly in need or incentives for many to find jobs and work hard.
She stretches out her hand to the poor; yes, she reaches forth her hands to the needy.
As I was pondering how to write this post, I began reading a book called In His Steps written in 1984 by Charles M. Sheldon. It was a convicting and challenging book. It is a fictional account of a minister who was challenged to live as Jesus lived. This town was full of saloons that were destroying the lives of many in the city. The minister was leader of a church that had many wealthy and influential people in it and by exhorting his people to live as Jesus lived, the entire city and even nearby ones were transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“How much is the Christianity of the age suffering for Him? Is it denying itself at the cost of ease, comfort, luxury, elegance of living? Is it true that the Christian disciples today in most of our church are living, soft, easy, selfish lives, very far from any sacrifice that can be called sacrifice? There is a great quantity of nominal Christianity today. There is need of more of the real kind. We need revival of the Christianity of Christ. We have unconsciously lazily, selfishly, formally grown into a discipleship that Jesus himself would not acknowledge.”
And no, this isn’t petitioning the government to raise taxes and “spread the wealth.” It’s not working towards a socialistic society. It’s believers, such as you and me, who are willing to live our lives in generosity and service to those around us and who need help. It’s giving financially to those who are struggling. It’s offering services like meals and help to those who are sick and in need. It’s offering an encouraging ear and comforting words to whomever comes across our path. It’s reaching out to those who are in need of help in any way and accepting strangers into our homes to shower love upon while never forgetting to speak the truth in love.
As wives and mothers, it’s sacrificing our bodies to receive the gift of as many children the Lord blesses us even if it means personal and financial sacrifice and suffering to us; for those children can grow up to be great disciples for Jesus. It’s laboring to teach your children the ways and truths of the Lord and to be generous to the poor and needy. It’s willing to live a simpler, more self-denying lifestyle.
Living like Jesus lived means we welcome interruptions in our lives as God’s interventions. We stop spending wasteful money on ourselves to look more fashionable and younger but learn to be content with what we have and learning to make do. It’s learning to store our treasures in heaven instead of here on this earth.
“If our definition of being a Christian is simply to enjoy the privileges of worship, be generous at no expense to ourselves, have a good, easy time surrounded by pleasant friends and by comfortable things, live respectably and at the same time avoid the world’s great stress of sin and trouble because it is too much pain to bear it – if this is our definition of Christianity, surely we are a long way from following the steps of Him who trod the way with groans and tears and sobs of anguish for a lost humanity; who sweat, as it were, great drops of blood…
Are we ready to make and live a new discipleship? Are we ready to reconsider our definition of a Christian? What is it to be a Christian? It is to imitate Jesus. It is to do as He would do. It is to walk in His steps.”
But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
1 John 3:17