Even as the Son of man came not to he ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:28.
He called men, not to authority, but to service, the strong to bear the infirmities of the weak. Power, position, talent, education, placed their possessor under the greater obligation to serve his fellows. To even the lowliest of Christ’s disciples it is said, “All things are for your sakes.” … Among His disciples Christ was in every sense a caretaker, a burden-bearer. He shared their poverty, He practised self-denial on their account, He went before them to smooth the more difficult places, and soon He would consummate His work on earth by laying down His life. The principle on which Christ acted is to actuate the members of the church which is His body. The plan and ground of salvation is love. In the kingdom of Christ those are greatest who follow the example He has given, and act as shepherds of His flock.—The Desire of Ages, 550.
But Christ reaches us where we are. He took our nature and overcame, that we through taking His nature might overcome…. Jesus had shown in what righteousness consists, and had pointed to God as its source. Now He turned to practical duties. In alms giving, in prayer, in fasting, He said, let nothing be done to attract attention or win praise to self. Give in sincerity, for the benefit of the suffering poor. In prayer, let the soul commune with God. In fasting, go not with the head bowed down, and heart filled with thoughts of self…. It is he who yields himself most unreservedly to God that will render Him the most acceptable service. For through fellowship with God men become workers together with Him in presenting His character in humanity.—The Desire of Ages, 312.
With God at Dawn p. 291
—-Please continue to pray for Larry. He is getting worse instead of better. The doctor is saying that he had a mild stroke and should not be having these problems. He thinks it is an allergic reaction to the antibiotic he is on. Pray that that antibiotic gets out of his system soon. Rose
—-I have a family member in the hospital(not covid) and we need prayers. Please pray for her, for the best case scenario. Jana
—-I’m about to lose my job because of the mandates. Please pray something can be worked out. D
—-Very good friends asked for prayers for their precious grand-daughter who is having heart surgery tomorrow at 1:00 pm central time. Her name is Indy. Lorraine
—-Please every one pray for my daughter Anne Louise she is sick. Louisette
About twenty years ago, an incident happened that reminded me to be careful not to judge by appearances. As we were coming home from church, we saw a lady standing beside her car with its emergency flashers on. It was pulled alongside of the highway right by our exit. Seeing that there were children in the car, Ron figured that it was not a trap and stopped about half-way down the exit ramp. Ron instructed me to drive our car back onto the highway and pull in behind her.
During the time that I was driving the mile to the next exit and doubling back, another man also had stopped. When I saw this man, I immediately wondered if he was stopping to help or if he had other ideas, as he looked like many of the defendants that came to the office in the courthouse where I worked at the time—bandana tied around his head, tattoos covering his bulging muscles, dirty clothes and very tough looking. A tinge of worry crept, uninvited, up my spine. As I sat there watching them, I was glad that I had a cell phone just in case his intentions were less than honorable. Soon, it became apparent that he had only stopped to help. The contrast between the two “good Samaritans” was rather amusing—Ron in white shirt and tie—the other man in “grubbies.”
So often we categorize someone by the way they are dressed, the color of their skin, their customs, where they live, the roughness of their speech, etc., without getting to know that person’s heart. Praise God! Our Great Redeemer is not prejudiced! He looks at us differently than we look at one another. He takes into account all of the opportunities that we have had or have not had, the trials we have experienced, the environment in which we have been raised, all of the aspects of our life. Truly “the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7
Our Dear Saviour shows His love to all of His creatures. “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matt 5:45 It took the disciples a long time to exemplify this same love. They had been raised with many prejudices and wrong ideas. They had been taught from infancy that the Gentiles, the poor, the sick, the injured were under the curse of God. Jesus often went out of His way to correct these views.
One time, Jesus and the disciples walked across a part of Samaria on their way to Jerusalem. The disciples felt repulsed and uncomfortable that Jesus was even in a heathen area, yet they followed Him. It was permissible under their law to go and buy food from them and Jesus bade them do so. When they returned they found that He was conversing with one of “them” and a woman at that! When the “woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. . . .The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. . . .Jesus saith unto them, . . . Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. . . .And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word. And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” John 4:25-42
Another time, He took His disciples into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. As the disciples followed Him to this foreign land, they looked upon the inhabitants with disdain. They were about to learn a valuable lesson. “A certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed. And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.” Mark 7:25-31
And we must not forget that when a Roman centurion came to Jesus because his servant was sick, he had more faith than the chosen people of God. Jesus declared of him, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matt 8:10-12
How careful we must be in our dealings with others, that we not judge them by the way that they look or act or talk. How kind and tenderhearted we should be to all we meet for we never know whether God has put them in our path that we may share the gospel with them. How our Loving Redeemer yearns for us to be a channel through which His love can flow. Yet how often we wrap our “righteous robes” about us as did the disciples and look upon them with the same disdain that they showed.
May we lay all of our preconceived ideas and prejudices. May we be diligent to point those about us to their Only Helper. May we let our “light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify [our] Father which is in heaven.” Matt 5:16