“I get a lot of solicitations in the mail,” Stan commented one morning. “People wanting donations for all sort of things.”
“Do you usually respond?” I asked.
“Depends,” Stan replied. “Some are really easy to discard, but the ones that aren’t so easy I pray about and ask for the leading of the Holy Spirit.”
“Does He lead?” I asked.
“Sure does,” Stan said. “The problem is whether or not I follow!”
“Follow, like in being a good steward?”
“Yeah,” Stan replied, “that’s part of it, but often it’s too easy to disguise selfishness with saying I’m just being a good steward. But that’s another subject for another day.”
“This morning,” he continued, “I want to talk about two solicitations I got the other day from two different organizations. One provides food to people who are physically hungry. The other provides food to people who are both physically and spiritually hungry.”
“Physical food and spiritual food?” I commented.
“That’s right,” Stan replied. “And it seems to me that’s the better approach. First give the physical food to quiet the hunger pangs and the noise of the growling stomach so they can hear and receive the spiritual food of the gospel.”
“But don’t some organizations provide physical food only after a person has sat through a presentation of the gospel?”
“I think so,” Stan replied, “and I have to admit that I wonder about that.”
“Wonder in what way?” I asked.
“If I say to someone that I will give them something to eat if they become a Christian, how sincere would they be in their commitment?”
“Is it up to you to determine the sincerity of another person’s commitment?” I asked.
“No, of course not,” Stan replied. “Who does and who does not get into heaven with the assurance of life eternally with God is not up to me. However, I do have a role to play in helping others to have a sincere commitment.”
“If, for example,” he continued, “it seems that a person is just saying or doing something without more, without any evidence of a sincere commitment, and I encourage that, I don’t think I’m doing what God has for me to do.”
“How do you determine that?” I asked.
“Prayer, asking for the leading of the Holy Spirit, along with a commitment to follow His leading. I know beyond a shadow of doubt that He knows a whole lot better than I do. He’s in me to help, and I am to let Him do why He’s called the ‘Helper.’”
Bible verses to consider:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6.
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul . . . Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. Psalm 146:1 and 7.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who comes to Me shall never thirst. John 6:35.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you created in me the desire to come to you to have all of my hunger satisfied. Thank you that you do freely and graciously provide everything I need to be satisfied in your eternal presence for when my time here is done, as well as all I need to have my hunger of knowing you and Jesus satisfied on this side of eternity. I confess that too often I do not do what is needed to help others come to you to have their physical and spiritual hunger satisfied. Please help me in following every step of your lead so that I am a part of your solution for the hunger of others, in whatever way you want me to be involved. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Has your eternal hunger been satisfied so that you have the assurance of salvation? If no, why? Is it because you don’t know that it can be satisfied by God’s free and gracious gift that only needs to be accepted? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing in not being spiritually hungry on this side of eternity? How are you doing in helping others in not being hungry — spiritually and physically? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense changes are needed, how are those changes going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?