ODJ: serving together

January 20, 2015 

READ: Matthew 25:34-40 

When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me! (v.40).

After I moved to Africa, a couple living in America contacted me and said, “We’d like to make a financial contribution to help you with your ministry in Uganda.” Because my job at the time didn’t require that I raise funds, I thanked them but declined their generous offer.

My friends were eager to help feed the hungry, show hospitality to strangers, clothe the poor and provide the thirsty with a drink as believers in Jesus are told to do in Matthew 25:34-39. For some reason, however, I didn’t think that I should accept money from them or anyone else at that time.

One month later, however, I was visiting some children at a rural hospital in northern Uganda when I met a little boy in desperate need of medical treatment that his family couldn’t afford. It was then that I believe the Lord impressed on my heart to tell my friends about him so that together we could help him. And, of course, when they learned of his needs, my friends gave joyously and generously on his behalf.

As I spent days in the hospital tending to the child and visiting the sick (v.39), I was strengthened by my friends’ prayers, emotional support and financial gifts. They helped equip me to minister lovingly to the little boy and other patients at the hospital. Conditions there were so bleak that “crowds of sick people—blind, lame or paralysed” were forced to sleep outside on hard porches, much like the poor and hurting described in John 5:2-4.

Today, consider how you can unite to serve “the least of these” through your local church and personal giving (Matthew 25:40). I can attest that, even in the face of suffering, few joys compare to working with others to help those in need. —Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan› Genesis 32:1-33:16

Read Mark 2:1-12 and consider what some men serving together did to help a hurting friend. 
How could you serve with others this week to bring glory to God as you help those in need? Why is it important to work with others—those who know the true nature of the need and those who are in need—before moving forward with ministry plans?