A true story…

There was a homeless man in the street in front of my house; he was trying to jump in front of the car that was coming but my wife saw him and pulled him out of the way.  He was crying because his (so called) friends had thrown him out and he didn’t know what to do.  We gave him some food and a gym bag to put his only other set of clothes in because the plastic grocery bag he had them in was starting to rip.  Then we gave him a ride to where he wanted to go and I even gave him some money but nothing good happened to me.  In fact, I felt bad that I didn’t do more.

The Lie:

When we do good things God should bless us with something special.

The Truth:

We only did what we are supposed to do, the minimum requirement.  Had we done nothing that would have been bad because we knew the man was in need and we had the power to help him.

And besides…

God has already blessed us; we have a home, a car, and extra food and money or we wouldn’t have been able to help the man at all.  If God hadn’t already blessed us it would have been us in the street with no reason to live.  Compared to a homeless man we start to realize how good we have it.  We tend to compare ourselves to the rich people on TV and want to be like them but there are more people who have much less than we do than the few that have more.

So what?

If what we call ‘good’ is really just the minimum requirement and we don’t even always do that, than we are really pretty bad (not even considering the bad things we do).  So do we deserve to go to heaven or hell?  What would the Judge say?  It’s a good thing that Jesus bought us on the cross and all we have to do is trust in Him and ask Him for forgiveness.

“8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9 The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”
1 Peter 1:8-9 (New Living Translation copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust.)


2 Responses to “A true story…”

  1. Jim,

    You make a good point. In James 2:14-17 we hear of a similar situation.

    4 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

    I feel we must do what we can to help with in reason. And sometimes it may only be the minimum but I feel it’s better than doing nothing at all. And you never know, that small act of kindness and compassion might have been the turning point for this guy.

    We learn in John 3:17-18

    “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”

    Yes we are very blessed and as a Christian should be a blessing to others. If we were to be judged, we would without a doubt fall short of the glory of God. Without Jesus we would all be going swimming in the lake of fire!


  2. Jim,

    Pretty strong words at the end there. It’s a struggle to realize that what we consider good deeds and what God considers good deeds are probably drastically different. I was reading somewhere the other day that the Gospel ceases to be ‘Good News’ if we somehow don’t understand the ‘Bad News’ it came to free us from. Interesting thought.



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