But getting back to Cain’s question, there is supreme irony in the question.  God does not respond directly to Cain’s question, but it is clear in God’s law, and in what Jesus explained were the two greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37-40), that we are, all of us, our brother’s keeper.  We are all responsible for, not just our siblings and immediate family members, but also our extended family in the human race, every human being that we may encounter throughout our lives.  So, it is the job of all of us to help out our fellow person wherever we may be able, as is within our power, and as led by the Holy Spirit.  Moreover, since we as Christians represent our Lord wherever we may go in life (2 Corinthians 5:20), then we are called to a higher standard than the people who are in and of this world, who do not know God in a personal way as we do through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.  

My job as a Christian, representing my Lord, is to have compassion on the downtrodden and to help them in whatever trouble they have when I am confronted with such a situation where someone needs help.  As James 1:27 tells us, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”  We are also taught in Matthew 25:31-46 and Isaiah 58:6-12 that the truest expression of Love for our God is to help our fellow person in their troubles.  If we have real faith, it will be accompanied by actions.  It is not enough to simply have compassion for such downtrodden people and to say a prayer or to give them a blessing, but if it is within our power to help them, our faith in such situations should be accompanied by deeds (James 2:16-17).  But as with these situations and with all things that we do for our Lord and all things that we accomplish throughout the day, we should listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will tell us what is appropriate to do or say in these and all situations.

As a younger Christian, I was sometimes overwhelmed with the many opportunities for service and the many needs that I would see in the news or hear about at church, etc.  It is easy to be overwhelmed.  But it is important to remember with all the wealth of needs across your community and even the world, that it is not your responsibility to meet them all.  Your only responsibility is to listen for God’s still small voice directing you to the small piece of the gigantic pie that you are responsible for and then, upon recognizing God’s guidance, to obey.  God is responsible for the entire pie, all of the needs of all humanity, and He is powerful enough, wise enough, all-knowing, and compassionate enough to handle all this responsibility all by Himself if He so chooses.  But He wants us to be part of His work so that we can learn and grow and become more like Him every day.  And He can break down into smaller pieces the tremendous complexity of this gigantic work for meeting all the needs of humanity, and He can thus divide out to His children small pieces of the work for our benefit and blessing.

We finish on this topic tomorrow.  May God bless you with peace and rest on this Sunday. 

 


Comments

01/28/2016 4:49am

, we should listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit who will tell us what is appropriate to do or say in these and all situations.

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    I'm a retired soldier, having spent 23 years of my life serving our country, actually 30 years when you count the reserve and National Guard time as well.  I believe in servant leaders, following the example of our Lord, and I believe in giving back to the troops once one has attained a certain status or level of success in life.  But I also believe in fighting back against corruption and incompetence wherever you find it if it hurts people.  Our national values were worth dying for.  They are also worth living for.  A man or woman can actually live a life by these principles of humility, service, love, duty, and honor, and have a significant impact on the world around them...if you have the dedication to see it through. 

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