Helping Others

Text: Genesis 40.

We see how Joseph was helpful to others even when things were not going his way. He is all the more a great person because his help to others even when things once again were not going his way.

How different his attitude was! He could have said

Let's look at some New Testament examples of helping others. See how these four excuses hold up in light of New Testament teaching.

I. "It's none of my business."

A. We hear the voice of Cain when we hear those words. "Am I my brother's keeper?" Emphatically, yes!
B. Jesus made every soul's salvation our business when he said in Matt 28:19 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."" (NIV)

and when through Paul he said 2 Tim 4:2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-- with great patience and careful instruction. 2 Tim 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Tim 4:4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 2 Tim 4:5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. (NIV)

We should do our best to give everyone the chance to make a decision for Christ. Granted, most will not follow. But at least they will have had a choice.

II. I'm not getting mine, so they can do without theirs.

A. Didn't God say that he loved a cheerful giver? What kind of a liberal attitude is that?
B. Did God make you the judge of who was to get what? Did he leave it up to you to decide who should be saved and who shouldn't?
C. What did Jesus do at the cross? If anyone ever wasn't "getting his", he wasn't. Yet he looked down at the foot of the cross and

John 19:25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. John 19:26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," John 19:27 and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. (NIV) . He cared enough to take care of his own, even in the worst of times. In the midst of his dying he prayed "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." He cared about you and me.

D. It really doesn't matter if we are getting all of our wants. We are called to a spiritual ministry, not an earthly one. The things that are reasonable for each one of us will be provided. God takes care of us. He said

Matt 6:25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matt 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matt 6:27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matt 6:28 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Matt 6:29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Matt 6:30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matt 6:31 So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' Matt 6:32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Matt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (NIV)

III. "It's impossible to help these situations. There will always be suffering."

A. To some extent it is true that there will always be the poor, and that there will always be suffering.
B. But who does the giving and helping do the most good? We don't give so others can have it. . . we do it so that the grace of giving may abound in us. We get the most good out of any act of kindness.

2 Cor 8:5 And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 2 Cor 8:6 So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 2 Cor 8:7 But just as you excel in everything-- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-- see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

C. Giving, helping, and giving assistance are part of the Christian graces also.

D. Even for the smallest of kindnesses, we will not lose our rewards.

Mark 9:41 I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. (NIV)

E. The widow who gave two mites is known the world over today among God-fearing, Bible-studying people because of her kindness.

F. What about the many that Jesus healed? How many of them are still alive today? None! Didn't Jesus know that? But he healed them anyway. It showed kindness. It showed gentility to a world that so needed mercy. The Bible says "Be thou merciful, even as your heavenly Father is merciful."

IV. "I'm tired and don't want to be bothered with other people's problems."

A. Well, we all get tired at times. Jesus got tired and withdrew on foot or on boat to get away from all of the crowds.
B. But as a consistent lifestyle we are called to be of service to those about us. See who was commended in this story from the New Testament:

Luke 10:29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Luke 10:30 In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. Luke 10:31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. Luke 10:32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. Luke 10:33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. Luke 10:34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. Luke 10:35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. `Look after him,' he said, `and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.' Luke 10:36 "Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?" Luke 10:37 The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."

C. Don't you think the Samaritan was tired? Maybe a little frazzled? But he was commended because he acted when it wasn't convenient. And you will be rewarded because you showed kindness when it wasn't handy to do so also.

Gal 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (NIV)

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