Man With Bible and Drama

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Whom do you serve the most—yourself or others? What does it mean to serve? According to the dictionary, it means: to be of use; worthy of reliance or trust; to wait on; and to answer the needs of. When is the last time you did this?

Answering needs is something you naturally do every day. You start with your own needs: you provide food for yourself to eat, a bed in which to sleep, water to use for bathing, clothes to wear and shoes to adorn your feet. As you serve yourself this way every day, look deeper at the significance of something as simple as putting on shoes: Before you put them on, where have you planned for your feet to go? The Bible says how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news (Romans 10:15). If your feet haven’t taken you to spread good news lately, plan some trips. They could be as short as a walk across the street to your neighbor’s steps, or as long as a 6.5 hour plane ride to Lima, Peru.

On my first mission’s trip to Peru in 2005, God stirred great compassion in my spirit for the poorest of the poor there. Their needs are simple but of great significance because without them they would literally die. Yes, I speak of the basic needs many of us take for granted, like adequate food, clean water, safe shelter, sufficient health care. Then there are needs like attention, care, nurturing and love, which should be natural but are not met for about 33% of the women and children in Peru, for they are abused by both strangers and loved ones alike. Of the 8 million people in Lima, about 49% live below the poverty level and about 30% live in one of the poorest areas, San Juan de Lurigancho, where the average person eats once a day. Many live in squatter communities around the city and along the mountainside with steep, dangerous, rocky pathways. Their homes are actually huts made from bamboo, cardboard, tin or whatever they can find, and most have no electricity or running water. They have some needs to be met.

Jesus teaches us to not only meet spiritual needs by fulfilling our ultimate calling, which is to go all over the world and preach the good news to all creation (Mark 16:15)—but He also teaches us to meet the natural needs of others as well: If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? (James 2:15-16).

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