Bible Studies for Life Lesson for January 16- A Lifestyle of Service
January 4 2011 by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church

Focal Passages: Matt. 25:19-21, 29, 34-40; Mk. 10:42-45

A sharp, young intellectual once asked Jesus a question, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus forces the guy to answer his own question by pointing him back to the scriptures.

And after quoting the two great commandments as a synopsis of the Mosaic Law, Jesus answers: “You’ve got it. That’s it. Do that and you will live.”

Then the young intellectual asks a typical lawyer-like, hair-splitting question: “And who is my neighbor?”

Really what he was getting at was something like this: “Define in precise legal terms who it is that I can get away with not loving, because there are some people I don’t want to have to care about.”

Sound familiar?

Are you aware that out of the 6.5 billion people in the world, over 3 billion live in desperate poverty?

Over half of the world’s population struggles to survive on less than $2 per day!

That’s less than what we spend on a drink and a candy bar for a snack!

Across our globe, 26,000 children will die today from starvation or preventable diseases.

They are dying because they don’t have adequate nutrition, access to clean drinking water, or proper sanitation. In short, they will die because they lack something that we take for granted as “necessities.”

Are they not in the same shape as the man the Good Samaritan found in the ditch?

Hasn’t life in a fallen world robbed them of hope, stripped them of their daily needs, and left them half dead? What will we do about it?

Will we pass by on the other side, pretending we don’t see them?

Will we justify our inaction with empty claims of being too busy?

Or will we do the typical “Baptist thing:” write a check so that someone else can take care of the dirty work?

It’s time we get off our padded pews and get down in the ditch where the people in need can be found.

After all… “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? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:15-17, NKJV).

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1/4/2011 1:23:00 PM by Joel Stephens, pastor, Westfield Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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