We should always do our best to treat others exactly how we would like to be treated. This life is too long to live it selflessly because whether we realize it or not we will reap exactly what we sow and when we only think of our own well-being, we will be left wanting when our time of needing help arises. We should always remember and keep in mind that being a blessing to others is always twofold. When we help someone else in whatever capacity it may be, we are blessing the recipient in their life and receiving a blessing in our own life. Those who are givers can attest to the fact that their life rises higher when they bless someone else. The Lord is too good to forget our good works and when He sees us loving our neighbor as we love ourselves, we are rewarded in kind. (Colossians 3:23-25) (Hebrews 6:10)
Never believe the lie that you should not care about what others are going through. We are to emulate the Lord Jesus Christ in everything that we do and just as the majority of His life was spent loving, encouraging, forgiving and lifting others up, so must we do the same in our life at every opportunity that comes our way. (Luke 6:30-36)
I hope this message inspires and challenges your heart to think of how you can be a blessing in the lives of others when the opportunity comes your way.
THE UNINVITED GUEST
We had just finished our Thanksgiving feast when there came a knock at the door. My family was in Indiana visiting relatives for the holiday, and I ran from the dinner table to answer the door. Swinging open the door, I found a woman wearing a big old threadbare coat with a raggedy scarf. Her gloves were mismatched and her hat had a hole in it. Her skin was scaly and dry, and her eyes drooped, and her wrinkled mouth spoke.
“I know your grandmother,” she said. “Is she here?”
“No, she isn't,” I answered.
“Last summer I did some yard work for her, and she paid me,” the woman announced. “I'm homeless, and I'm very hungry. Do you have any spare money?”
“Please come in and wait here,” I suggested. Leaving her at the front door, I sprinted to the bedroom and grabbed my purse. I returned to hand her a $10 bill. Tears streamed down her face as she hugged me.
“Thank you,” she mumbled. While I was wrapped in her arms, the memory of a recent sermon flashed through my mind. At a camp meeting one of the speakers disguised himself as a beggar and mingled with the camp meeting staff during the course of the week. Because he was painful to see and offensive to smell, the attendants mistreated the beggar and fled from his odor. Revealing himself at the end of the week, the speaker preached a sermon based on Matthew 25:34, 35: “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in'.” (NKJV)
Seeing the old woman as my opportunity to do something for my Lord, I excitedly offered her some of our recent meal. We still had a whole table spread with food, and she had none. Leading her into the kitchen, where my relatives still lounged lazily with full bellies, I seated her at the table and began preparing her plate.
“Do you like potatoes?” I asked. “Would you like a roll? One or two?” As I worked I noticed the room emptying. One by one my relatives slipped into the living room. Soon my guest and I were the only ones in the kitchen.
Wanting her to feel comfortable, I began to ask her questions to get to know her. “What's your name? Where are you from? What was your last job? Where is your family? Do you like pumpkin pie?” We talked while she ate.
When she finished, she stood up, put on her old coat, hat, scarf, and mismatched gloves. “Thank you so very much. I haven't eaten in days. Thank you. My father used to say that when he was a child he could remember being so hungry that he couldn't see. I didn't understand that until I was much older. Thank you for returning my sight.”
I ushered the woman to the door and waved goodbye. Closing the door, I turned to face my family, turned jury. The verdict was guilty. “How could you do that?” asked my aunt. “She could have been a scout for robbers!” screeched a cousin. "This neighborhood isn't what it used to be!" added my older sister. "You don't let strangers into your grandmother's home!" joined in another relative. The inquisition continued until tears streamed down my face and I fled from the room.
Exactly one year later, Thanksgiving found us again celebrating in my grandmother's home. After another banquet my sister Kay and I stood at the sink washing dishes. “Do you remember the homeless woman who came to our house last year, Mary?” asked Kay.
“Yes,” was all I said, not wanting to dredge up terrible memories.
“Wouldn't it be funny if she came again?”
No, I thought to myself. It wouldn't be funny, not at all. Minutes later, from the kitchen window, we spotted this same woman returning to our house. This time, instead of running to the front door, I ran into the bedroom to hide. I didn't want the woman to see me, and I wasn't willing to risk my family's anger again by helping her.
Instead, Kay answered the door. “Hello. No, I'm sorry, but we don't have any money. Goodbye.”
Time of Trouble? Nine years have passed, but I still vividly remember that Thanksgiving Day when my family's reproaches overcame my desire to serve God by helping that poor woman.
In my first encounter with the woman I energetically reacted to the message of a recent sermon. But rather than face the family jury again, I hid instead of helping her. My experience withered like the plants in Jesus' parable of the seed and the soil (Matt. 13:3-9) because the roots weren't deep enough.
A time will come when all our roots will be tested. Jesus described the persecution of the end of time: “But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.” (Luke 21:12-13, NKJV)
When we are tested, will we stand up for what is right or shrink from potential pain? Will our beliefs have strong roots or shallow? Let's prepare our hearts to be fertile ground with deep roots. Let's be ready to stand up for life's uninvited guests.
Mary Mullins, a former student missionary in South Korea, now lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. She hopes to pursue a career in international development.
By Mary Mullins
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
John 13:34-35 Jesus declarers “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 “Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.”
Galatians 6:2-4 “Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.”
Romans 15:1-4 “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on Me. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: THE POWER OF WORDS
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/inpoem40.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: HE WANTED ME
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony88.htm
In Christ’s Service,
God’s Work Ministry