I have to give credit to my pastor, Ben Mandrell of Englewood Baptist Church in Jackson, Tennessee, for this title and idea. He plans to preach the sermon next week, but he couldn't help but give a preview in the form of a few examples. Here are some approximations of what he said:
Lord, that family down the street seems really lonely. Send someone to give them company and fellowship.
Father, that boy seems not to have a father. Put someone in his life to fill that need.
Lord, that single mother in my Sunday school class appears to be in real financial distress. A few hundred dollars would make a real difference for her. Father, please provide for her need.
Probably most of you reading these examples are already smiling. You see the problem, don't you? The very fact that we have observed a real need in another person or group of persons likely means that WE ARE THE ONES GOD INTENDS TO MEET THE NEED.
Can you be the one who invites the lonely family over to your house? Can you offer to spend time with the boy who has no father? Can you be the one who has the resources on hand to immediately and dramatically help the single mother in financial need? Gut check time. Can you do it even if you won't realize a tax deduction in the process?
This is a spiritual challenge that we are generally not eager to accept. If we decide to live our lives in such a way that we are very sensitive to God's promptings, we may end up giving more than we really want to give. We may end up with lots of little incursions on our time or our money. Maybe some big ones.
But do we seriously believe God can be pleased with us if we do not commit to exactly this way of life?