“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’” – Luke 16:19-25
I admit that when I see people suffering in some way, I don’t always know what to do. At times, it can seem overwhelming for in this world there is a lot of evidence of brokenness. My heart goes out to those that hurt and I attempt to do something. I believe these verses are talking about the condition of our heart and not what we are able to do.
Jesus said we would always have the poor with us. How our heart responds to needs makes the difference, but we need to remember that we can’t do it all. God doesn’t want us to take on everything. That’s why he gave everyone a special call on their life. Listening carefully to the Spirit is needed at all times.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that I may be moved to respond where you call me to do so. I thank you that you give me the ability and enable me with your power to complete the task assigned. Amen
Faith Tip: Do you know someone in need of comfort today? Pray to God to give you direction and discernment.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
When a friend of mine was going through some troubled times, I wanted to fix their situation for them so that they wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. I was interpreting the situation through my human experience and not seeking God for his plan. I took on a “god complex” where I thought I could fix it for my friend.
Sometimes God says to get out of the way so that he can do the work that he has planned. We may not understand what he is doing, we may not even like it, but God knows exactly what he is doing. If we try to fix things, we are causing a barrier to what God wants to do, which is so much better than what we can do. It’s a matter of trust.
Prayer: Lord, I pray that I can trust you in every situation. You have been so faithful, and I am to seek you and your plan for direction. I praise you for your goodness. Amen
Faith Tip: Are you trying to fix a problem for someone or for yourself? Look to the Lord for his plan and be ready to let go and step aside.
Seeing someone struggle is tough. Many of us have a “fix it” mentality where we want to jump into the middle of the situation and make sure they don’t struggle at all. We truly need to restrain ourselves and pray about our involvement. What is God doing through their struggle? When we jump in to help, we sometimes are jumping in front of God’s will for that person and blocking his work. Sometimes we need to get to the end of ourselves through suffering to truly see what God is doing and learn to depend on him.
Please don’t mistake this for not helping others when called. That’s why it is so important to stay in connection with the Holy Spirit to discern what we are to do. There are times when it is very obvious that help is needed at the moment like if someone is outside freezing without a coat or food or someone is broke down on the highway.
Think about the times you had challenges in your life. What did God work in you through these challenges? Could you have grown as much as you did without the struggle?
Prayer: Lord, it’s hard to be thankful for the times we suffer, but your work in us through the suffering makes us thankful. You always have a purpose for us. I pray that I may discern where it is you want me to jump in. Amen
Faith tip: Pray for clear direction of where God wants you to jump in and help today.
And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
Mary looked longingly at the new car her neighbor just purchased. She wondered how she did it. She works part time, but is that enough for her and her husband to afford a new car? Mary thought of her own car in comparison and knew hers was less. How great it must feel to get behind the wheel of a new car, she thought. She sighed and went back to her work.
Coveting is one of those commandments we are not to do. Sometimes we find ourselves in the midst of breaking one of the laws or another. That is why in Hebrews it says that the law was weak and useless, because it did not make us perfect. The law does show us how imperfect we are and how much we need our high priest, Jesus, to make us perfect. It was by his death on the cross that we are made holy. There is no other way. We live a better hope because of Jesus drawing us closer to God. That’s something to praise about today!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the laws of Moses you have established to show us how we should live. Forgive us for the times we fall short. Thank you for the grace and mercy you give us through Jesus. Amen
Faith Tip: Reflect on the true gift of the cross. Hold a cross in your hand or draw a cross and meditate on its meaning.