God’s call: serve those who need it most

Posted Mar 29, 2019

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Daily Scripture

Psalm 82:1-4

1 God takes his stand in the divine council;
    he gives judgment among the gods:
2 “How long will you judge unjustly
    by granting favor to the wicked?
3 Give justice to the lowly and the orphan;
    maintain the right of the poor and the destitute!
4 Rescue the lowly and the needy.
    Deliver them from the power of the wicked!

Reflection Questions

In this psalm, the entire “divine council” heard a basic principle of God’s rule: to ensure justice and rescue for “the lowly and the needy.” Some Hebrew writing drew from images common in the nations around them, like the image of a council of gods. Israelites, however, saw the one true God as presiding, with angels or heavenly spirits as council members (cf. also Job 1:6). With no legal or social status, and no male relative to take their side, widows or orphans in that society simply had no way to help themselves. Yet in the psalms and in many of Israel’s laws, it was clear that God cared passionately about helping the most helpless.

  • Psalm 82 represented a whole strand of Israelite worship. For example, Psalm 146:9 sang the praises of “The Lord: who protects immigrants, who helps orphans and widows.” But God usually acts through people, through us, to accomplish divine purposes. In what ways, big and small, can you partner with God in carrying out God’s wish for justice and rescue to take place on earth?
  • A key part of our heritage as Methodists came from John Wesley’s stress on holding together the “evangelical gospel” (the good news of salvation as God’s gift, received by faith) with the “social gospel” (the good news that God actively seeks justice and help, particularly for the weak and powerless). When have you needed spiritual salvation? When (if ever) have you felt powerless, and needed justice or help? Why is it important that God’s people address both needs?

Respond

Volunteer. This is an opportunity to give of your time freely to offer hope to those who are in need. Call a charity of your choice and ask, one of these questions:

  1. What is your greatest need now?
  2. How can I volunteer my time?
  3. How can I pray for your team or your volunteers?

Prayer

Lord God, I trust you to be my help and my strength, even when all else fails me. Use me as one of your instruments to bring justice to your world. Amen.

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GPS Guide

Whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith, or you’re a long-time Christian, we want to do everything we can to help you on your journey to know, love and serve God. The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides Scripture and insights to enhance your journey. If you have a question or comment about the GPS Guide, please send it to GPS@cor.org.

Ginger Rothhaas

Ginger Rothhaas

Ginger is the creator of CompassionFix.com and is a graduate of Saint Paul School of Theology. She serves as a Care Minister at Resurrection Downtown and co-hosted the What Matters? podcast. She loves writing, teaching, conversations over coffee, and time with her husband and two children.

Every morning we wake up as the hands and feet of God on Earth, partnering with God to serve humanity. But, sometimes the need seems overwhelming and we don’t know where to start. 

I think a helpful exercise to figure out where God may be calling you to serve is to consider what you know, who needs you, and what brings you joy. The intersection of these things can point you toward God’s calling to serve. 

What do you know? What training have you had? What was your career? What experiences have equipped you to help? What could you teach someone? 

Who needs you? Whose suffering breaks your heart? Who do you want to fight for? 

What brings you joy? What are you doing when you lose track of time? What work feeds your soul? What do you imagine creating? 

Spending some time with questions like these can help you refine your focus on an area of serving that will utilize your skills, serve the world, and bring you joy all at the same time. Be curious watching for ways you can be an instrument of love at work, church, in your neighborhood, service agencies, schools, and non-profits. 

I believe God is calling all of us to serve in a way that shares what we have learned, empowers someone else to have opportunities, and fills our souls with joy as we do it. 

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