November 12, 2016

Helping People in Need

Deuteronomy 24:10-15

They will thank you, and it will be regarded as a righteous act in the sight of the Lord your God.

—  Deuteronomy 24:13

Our reader Oleg sent us an email expressing his doubts about God. He wrote, “When I see how the rich and powerful are crushing the poor people, I often wonder if God really ­exists. If he does, why doesn’t he get involved with the world?”

Oleg openly and honestly shared his thoughts, and many others have also asked these questions. It’s true that we live in a broken, unjust world. But rather than blaming God, we must remember our own responsibilities and opportunities to work for justice.

In Deuteronomy we find God-inspired advice that can serve as a general framework for our actions. A poor neighbor’s only valuable possession for use as a pledge or collateral might be his cloak. The holder of the pledge is told to return the cloak to the owner by sunset so that he may sleep in it. This thoughtfulness should bring about a debtor’s thanksgiving. And God will view it as a just, righteous act.

As Scripture challenges us to get involved with helping people in need, it also reminds us of our own poor spiritual condition. Without Jesus, we have absolutely nothing to use as collateral for our salvation. Even so, he freely and generously grants us forgiveness and new life. He saved us by dying on the cross.

Are you responding with gratitude and thanksgiving?

Lord, thank you for your forgiveness in Christ. Give us a thankful heart, and teach us how to live in gratitude to you by helping others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the author — Sergei Sosedkin

Rev. Sergei Sosedkin is the Russian-language ministry leader for ReFrame Ministries. He is a native of Moscow, Russia. As he oversees the Russian-language ministry, Rev. Sosedkin works from our office in Grand Rapids and in various locations in Russia.

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