If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person? 1 John 3:17 NLT
She was a shut-in who needed a ramp.
Patricia required round-the-clock care prior to and after her husband’s death. Her son and daughter-in-law decided she needed a ramp. This would help when she had to be transported to doctors’ appointments or when they just wanted to get her out for a while.
When I heard of their predicament, the solution seemed simple. We had a licensed contractor in our church, the men’s ministry had funds they weren’t using, and we had men who had the skills to build a ramp. I contacted the contractor who was more than happy to use his skills and time.
We designated a day and time and the contractor picked up the materials. Ten men showed up to help. Within the space of two and one-half hours, the ramp was built—and at a negligible cost. I felt good when we were finished. So did everyone else. We had shown God’s love by helping someone with a need we could meet.
John doesn’t mince words. He says if we have the means to meet a need we see but don’t that God’s love doesn’t abide in us—regardless of what we might claim.
I can’t meet every need I see. They are numerous and surround me every day. Not only do I see them but I also hear about them. Nor do I have the funds, the skills, or the time to meet every need. Jesus didn’t meet every need He encountered. Some people He didn’t heal. Some areas He avoided.
Jesus operated according to the Father’s plan—and I should too. Through prayer, I can determine which needs God wants me to meet. When I’m prayed up, I’ll even know what to do about those spur-of-the-moment opportunities that arise.
Knowing my skill level also helps. While I could help build a ramp, spearheading the project would have been out of the question. Instead of hours, it would have taken days. If we are perceptive, God will match the opportunities with our skills and talents.
But the greatest challenge to meeting needs is intentionality. If we don’t have a plan to love others by meeting their needs, we won’t. Make a plan so you can meet a need when you see a need.
Tweetable: How do you respond to needs?
Prayer: Father, give us opportunities to show Your love to others in tangible ways.