Help! They need somebody

“And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'”

‭‭Matthew ‭25:45‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Beloved of God,
 
Take a look at the news and world events being reported. People are being held in horrible, inhumane conditions at the southern border. People are still having difficulty receiving clean water in Flint. People of color are experiencing increased incidents of police violence against the unarmed. People in many areas are experiencing the devastation of storms that have been strengthened by climate change. With all that is happening in our county, in our nation, and in our world the scripture gives us a clear mandate to help. While “help” means different things within the context of different situations, rarely does “help”  refer to doing nothing.   As Christians we must ask how we can help. All of these issues seem too big for one person to fix , but I submit that the scripture reminds us that the beginning of help starts with helping one. In the parable referenced above, Jesus speaks as a person in need of food,  one in need of drink, and one in need of welcoming, clothing or visitation while in prison. Perhaps Jesus frames the parable that way to encourage us to be a help to one person at a time. The problems and failures of society can be corrected by a personal commitment to help someone in need. The love of Christ is best shown when the least and the lost are helped.
Today, make it your new life goal to help.
 
In Him,
Pastor Wright


Expect the great, but be clear about it

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Beloved of God,

There are many types of relationships that a person will have at any given moment. All relationships are work, and when you are willing to do the work that each one requires, life and purpose become more meaningful. For some of us, the struggle of relationships is a matter of our expectations. Often, our relational expectations are: misguided, unrealistic, or unspoken. When this is the case, we end up being frustrated with people who haven’t met our poorly matched expectations.

A key to healthy relationships is having clearly conceived and clearly explained expectations. Having clear expectations allows you to understand the role that people play in your life, and it will allow you to stop forcing people to fulfill an expectation that doesn’t match who they are in your life. This practice of clear expectations will also allow you to set up boundaries so that people who aren’t designed to meet a specific need stay within the parameters of their particular relationship with you. Ultimately, when people have an understanding of the expectations associated with relationship, they are empowered to help one another succeed.

Today, think about your relationships: What is expected of you?  What do you expect of others?
 
In Him,
Rev. Wright


Gratitude for Relationship

The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Genesis 2:18

Beloved of God,

We cannot escape from the reality that God has created us to be connected to people. The weight and role of relationships in our lives and in our walk with God cannot be underestimated. Think about it. What would your purpose be without people?  Who would you share the Gospel with? Do you have a gift if there are no people with a need or appreciation for it? God understands that we need one another to fulfill His plan and path for our lives.

In Genesis chapter 2, we are given a glimpse into the creation of humanity, and we see how God responds to Adam who is by himself. God notices that even though Adam has all that he needs and has an assignment (to name animals) there is still a missing component to his existence. Adam had a relationship with God and an assignment but was lacking connection with someone who was like him. He needed another person. Adam did not need a spouse necessarily, but He needed companionship. It is through our connections that our calling and our gifts are confirmed. It is through these connections that God’s ultimate care for us is displayed. God could have been selfish and decided that the only interaction that Adam needed was with Him, but God wanted Adam to experience relationship.

For all of the “go it alone” saints, let Genesis 2 remind us that it is not Godlier for us to be alone, rather we should be thankful for everyone that God has blessed our lives with.

In Him,

Pastor Wright



Making Connections Count

“23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”

Psalm 37:23-27

This psalm is a wisdom psalm, and the central message is to encourage the people of God to maintain patience in times of trouble. Undoubtedly, we can all look at our lives and see how the Lord’s hand has guided us to where we are now. There may have been some challenges, obstacles or stops that we would have preferred to avoid, but God saw value in the journey that He set your life on.

A more subtle aspect of the text that I would encourage us to pay attention to is the people that we meet along the journey. I realize that the text doesn’t mention people, but has there ever been a stop along your life’s journey that didn’t have people attached? I submit that the people that God has assigned to our lives are as ordained as the steps that He assigned us to take. God connects us to people for a variety of reasons, and we must grow to a place where we see our human connections through a spiritual lens. This way we can identify those that we are called to pour into and not have the expectation that they pour into us. We can identify where we are supposed to get our encouragement from, and that will keep us from being disappointed when others, not charged to give us encouragement, do not provide it. Perhaps most importantly, we will be able to discern what Kingdom purpose God wants us to fulfill in the lives of the people that He has ordained to us.

Our challenge is to make our connections count and to seek the reason that God has ordained those connections as a part of the details of our lives.

In Him,
Pastor Wright


Focusing on the “Why?”

Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. 

James 1:19 (The Message)

 

Beloved of God,

The book of James has been the focus of some personal study as I attempt to decipher the plan of God in these increasingly chaotic times. In the verse leading to verse 19, James is focusing on the why of our trials and difficulties. He concludes that God allows us to experience trials, because God is proving our faith. God is removing the defects and flaws, so that we do not lack anything.

So, we can’t get angry about what is happening to us or about what others are saying to, around, or in spite of us. Whatever they are saying is much more spiritual than they understand.

Out of trust in God and His ability to ordain our steps, we should listen to Him and let His Word shape our response, so that our response can reflect our faith. God is doing more to shape and perfect us through difficult exchanges with others than we realize.

The why is because God wants to prove our faith, but to prove our faith, we need to be a good steward of our response. If we don’t want to experience the same trials over and over again, James makes it clear that we should let our ears lead us, our mouth follow, and let anger straggle along (James 1:19 MSG). That way, when we are faced with someone who is using reckless words, we can learn to see this as both God’s work in our life and as a maturing of our faith.

We often let anger take us to a place that we regret once our anger has subsided. But James reminds us that Jesus wants us to respond differently. We follow Christ, and He helps us to control our emotions. By the Grace of God and the work of the Spirit, we can be transformed so that we can bring our emotions in check and line up our emotions with God’s Word and will.

If the Holy Spirit leads and emotions follow, we can make decisions that will expand the Kingdom of God.

 
In Him,
Pastor Nathaniel Wright