The Bible is very comfortable with the idea that you can talk to God. Depending on the Bible version you look at ‘prayer’ is referenced over six hundred and fifty times!
Christians are word people. I don’t mean simply that ‘Christians are people of the WORD of God’, although that is true. I mean, that Christians need to listen, read, think and speak words with great intention and purpose.
Let me see if I can explain, starting with some background.
Sermon on ‘Discrimination’ (James 2:1-13) by Ken Noakes now available to stream or download – http://bit.ly/2cvekMS
Read the Bible text: http://bit.ly/2bWHUgb
Download the English Corner PDF: http://bit.ly/2bWGWQW
In 1 Timothy 5:1-16 the Apostle Paul offers advise to Timothy (and those in the church that he leads) for honouring others – ‘Give honour to those widows who are really in need’ (5:3).
As he explains this advise, Paul is quite helpful in offering some suggestion in how to treat each widow differently given their particular situation – to the widow with children or grandchildren allow her family to care; to the godly widow who is alone offer her help; to the widow who has no interest in the things of God, exercise care if you help; to the faithful widow who is over sixty put her on the care list, but to the widow under sixty do not. All very specific!
The driving principle here is that the church of Jesus should be a help to those who are in most need (5:16) and if there are others like family members who should bear that responsibility, then allow them to do as such.
I take it that there are limited resources and that the wisdom here is to give priority to those who are most at risk- and at that time, it would have been the widow.
In this and the next post, I want to make two observations that may be helpful for our church family. Then in a third post a want to recommend a helpful book.
This week I was reading Exodus 14 with one of my kids. It recounts the passage of the Israelites from Egypt through the crossing of the Red Sea.
The Lord, hearing the cries of the Israelites secured their release (by way of several plagues) from slavery. They flee into the desert guided by the Lord (a pillar of cloud in the day and fire in the night). Arriving at the shores of the Red Sea they turn to see the Egyptian army in pursuit. Despite all that God had done they are terrified and cry out again ‘It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!’. The answer is glorious. Moses says to the people ‘Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…the Lord will fight for you; you need only be still’ (Ex 14:12-14). As you probably know, God then parted the waters and they safely crossed the Rea Sea on dry land.