Before we get to this week’s post, I have two exciting announcements. First, I have recently been accepted as an affiliate for Christianbook.com which means I will now be making commissions for purchases made through those links included in future posts. Currently, there are no affiliate links in any post. All links in current posts are to other posts, articles, or videos.
However, we will be retrofitting some previous posts with affiliate links in the future. A full policy will be developed soon. In the meantime, you can click on the Christianbook.com Storefront tab in the navigation bar to shop their site.
Secondly, when my father was writing this article, he put together some of his 2007 articles into a book. I am revising that into an ebook titled, “2007: A Year in Review”. It will be his original work just edited and reformatted. I am hoping to release it around Christmas. I will be selling it for $5 per copy, but the first 10 people to reserve a copy will receive it free.
Now to this week’s post.
Have you ever spotted something on a top shelf in a store that you wanted, or needed, but could not reach? If you’re anything like me, you try all sorts of things to get it down.
You try to use another product and push it toward the edge of the shelf and prepare to catch it. You might try to stand up tall on your tip-toes. You might even try jumping for it. Of course I never ask the associate to get it (as most stores encourage you to do).
And then there is my favorite idea: climbing on the other shelves to create a ladder.
Recently, I was in a store and there was a mother and daughter standing in the aisle trying to figure out how to get a box of ornaments down off the top shelf.
The mother was fairly short, and so she enlisted her daughter to climb the shelves to try and get it. Coming down the same aisle, I was trying to figure out how to get out of this section of the store while “social distancing”.
However, watching the teenage girl trying to knock down the box of ornaments, I realized I could actually reach it. (I rarely am “tall enough” to get something for someone else, but I was in this case. Although I still had to stand on my tip-toes to get it myself.)
So I walked up and asked them “You got it?”
The teenage girl immediately hopped down and backed away from the shelf and the mother turned and smiled (behind her mask) as if to say “please, help us.”
So I went over, got on my tip-toes, and grabbed the crate. I held it for them so they could pick the box they wanted. When they were finished, I put the crate back on the shelf. They said thank you and I said you’re welcome. And proceeded down the other side of the aisle and left.
There are a lot of different ideas that popped in my head after this event, but I couldn’t shake the image of Jesus recognizing the needs of the people around him.
Whether it was healing the lame, giving sight to the blind, feeding the 5,000, talking to a woman who everyone else shunned, protecting someone from being harmed, or restoring people into community.
There are all kinds of needs out there. Some physical. Some emotional. Some relational.
Scripture teaches us in Hebrews 13:15-17 that “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
The author of Hebrews is specifically talking to the Church – the body of Christian believers – and encouraging them throughout this chapter to love one another and to stay unified in belief, service, in prayer, and in Christ.
Throughout Hebrews, there are references to the truth of who Jesus is and what He came to Earth to do. There are also several key passages connecting those in the past, present, and future who believe in Jesus Christ.
In this particular passage, we are reminded that as Jesus-followers we are to praise God and serve others.
There are many different ways to serve others, but the first step is to recognize the needs around you. Once your recognize a need then you can take steps to meet it.
There are people who are disconnected from family and friends. You can connect with them through a phone call or letter.
There are people who are discouraged. Send them a note of encouragement.
There are people who need help with regular chores like taking the trash to the dump. Maybe you can take it for them.
Maybe you can simply take a crate of ornaments down off the shelf for a mother and daughter.
Whatever it is, recognize the need and do something about it. That is what is pleasing to God. His people loving each other, and everyone for that matter, and allowing that love to manifest itself in tangible, practical ways.
You know, I could have kept on walking past that mother and daughter. I could have recognized their need and just kept moving – which I have done plenty of times before. But this time something compelled me to ask if they needed help.
I encourage you this day to look around and recognize the needs of other people around you. And then be prepared to do something about it.
Let us keep praise for God on our lips and not forget to do good and share with others for this is the sacrifice that pleases God.
Anyway, I was just thinking…