Mya Hudgins, Faith Editor
As any basic high school senior, everyone was always focused on volunteer hours. Everyone knows how good serving looks on college applications, job interviews, and most importantly scholarships. But were we all doing them for the right reasons, or was it just so we could hope to get something in return? In the Old Testament it says, “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” (Deuteronomy 15:11.)
Looking around our community, we always see people that could use our help, whether it’s financial, carrying groceries, helping in a soup kitchen, or even something simpler. This text is simply saying that when you look up from your busy life and humble yourself, you will see tons of people who need help. God doesn’t put a limit on who you can help, it can be someone you know, like a church member or a friend, or it can be someone you have never seen or met before. Whichever one it is, God expects us to share the love of Christ through serving others.
To me this verse has actually had a big effect on my life. My heart and desire is to help and serve others in any way possible. When I was 13 years old, God called me into mission work. That’s when I went on my first over-seas mission trip to Panama. When I returned I knew this is what God wanted me to do for the rest of my life. In this verse, it talks about how there will always be poor people in the land. I believe that “the land” is anywhere you choose to be. If you’re at Walmart that’s your “land”, if you’re downtown at the park, that your “land”. When we serve someone, we are not just serving them but instead we are showing them God’s love through us. When we obey this commandment God has given us, we become a tool. A God chosen tool to share the Gospel through one simple act of kindness.
This text brings joy to my heart. It should bring joy to everyone’s heart. The fact that God wants us to be a tool for Him, by sharing His love, should make you feel worthy and humbled all at the same time. It reminds me of when God invited the disciples to follow after him and they dropped everything. They were so eager to have been chosen by the creator of the universe. We shouldn’t look at having to serve as a punishment or something you dread, but instead a way to share the love of Christ with others. Like I said earlier, I was called to mission work when I was 13, but I have learned that doesn’t limit me to over-seas, but also serving my community. Oklahoma Baptist University has so many students involved in different programs who help out in many surrounding communities. We have students involved in Big Brother Big Sister, Spero Project, Age2Age, Hope House, Mission Center, Cargo Ranch, and On the Ground. These programs are only some of the many opportunities students have. Deuteronomy 15:11 can be a life verse as people serve their communities.
Personally, the Lord has put homeless people on my heart for the past couple of years. I’ve learned I am happiest when I have an open hand towards these people and serving them. It’s pure joy….God’s JOY. This verse is a good daily reminder to humble yourself and look for opportunities to help someone. It might mean so little to you, but to them it means the world.
Helping the poor is an issue of the heart. If your heart is not right, then there is no point in doing it to begin with. Serving is not something you do to get recognized or something in return. You do it because the Lord has commanded us to help each other. When I look at the homeless, the poor, or someone who just needs help, I see Jesus. If we knew the person on the side of the road was Jesus, we would stop without any second thoughts to help. Then, why is it when it’s someone we see as “less than us,” we just keep driving by. God made these people too and you never know, that could have been Jesus, you just passed by.
Deuteronomy 15:11 is a great verse to put in our hearts. It is a daily reminder that we must decease, so He can increase in our lives. Serving is a way, we as Christians, can be reminded of the one who served us first…Jesus Christ.