If you need to rewire a thermostat or replace the J-trap in your sink, you can find an online video showing you how to do it all by yourself. With all the training material available on the internet, we may be tempted to think we can accomplish anything by ourselves. But that idea can be misleading and dangerous when applied to our faith.
Religious beliefs that emphasize self-help and self-effort do not depend upon God. Christianity, on the other hand, is a faith that relies upon divine effort. God is the one who saves. He empowers us to live the Christian life. We also know that God chooses to work through His people. Christian community is important in the life of the believer.
Paul’s conviction that he could be content no matter the circumstance did not mean that he was unappreciative of the help offered by the Philippian believers (v. 14). When he left Macedonia to preach the gospel in the southern region of Greece known as Achaia, the Philippians were his only financial supporters. They not only shared their finances, but their support was also a way of sharing in Paul’s troubles (v. 14).
It is important to help one another. In Romans 15:30, the apostle wrote: “I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.” When we see someone in trouble, we can do more than just offer sympathy. We can take practical steps to help carry the load of those in need. We may share our finances or lend a hand. In addition, we can pray. Prayer is spiritual, but it is also practical.
>> Are you tempted to practice a DIY version of your faith? As you go about your day, reflect on how many times you rely on yourself to accomplish your goals. How would life change if you gave each moment over to God and asked for His power, help, and direction?
Sometimes You give us plenty so we can provide for those who don’t have enough. Grant us this week the joy of giving of our time, finances, or other resources to aid someone in need.