11 "Rescue those being led away to death;
Hold back those staggering towards slaughter.
12 "If you say, 'But we knew nothing about this',
does not He who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not He who guards your life know it?
Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?"
We have a responsibility to one another. Christianity only works if we stop putting ourselves first and start looking out for others ahead of ourselves. If you see someone struggling and just go on with your day, this passage says that God weighs your heart and perceives that you made that decision, and that He repays each of us for what we have done. That's a big deal - it's important to God that we rescue those in need of rescue.
Also, we aren't just supposed to pat each other on the back for being good at pretending we have it all together; We're supposed to share in our struggles and bear one another's burdens. [Galatians 6:2]
13 "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country - a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them."
We are not from here. We are not citizens of this world, and we should live accordingly. When you go to a different country, you have to take some time to get accustomed to it - a different language, or dialect, or traditions, or behaviors - how much more, then, should we feel strange and different in this world? We should not feel at home here, because this is not our home. We may never see the fruit of what we do; we may get hurt over and over again by putting others before ourself, but that's not an excuse not to do it. We'll see it when we get home - to our real home. While on earth, we should always be homesick for Heaven. The reason we fall short most of the time is because we have settled in here, and we look just like the rest of the world.
1 Thessalonians 5:14
14 "And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, take tender care of those who are weak, and be patient with everyone."
This is my favorite verse. Well...one of my favorites. :] It lists a lot of types of people, or a lot of places people can be on their walk, and how other believers should respond. Not a single one of them lists "ignoring" or "judging" as a Godly option. When someone is weak or struggling with something, how often do we just gossip about them and pat ourselves on the back for not being that sinful? People are constantly hurting and going through things all around us - it's the human condition. But how many times at the end of the day can we look back and note the person we've taken "tender care of" that day? That's part of our job description! That's at the core of calling ourselves "christian". Loving others more than ourselves. Willingness to inconvenience ourselves to help someone else. And again, we fall short of this because we look just like the world. This goes against human nature and what the world would say to do, but it is God's heart, and therefore, it should be our heart.
You know how to make your heart look more like God's heart? Spend time with Him. Get to know Him. Read His book. It's awesome. :]
This is also awesome...and a good way to get pumped up about living like Jesus. Watch/listen to the whole thing...we've got this painted in the Boiler Room because it's just amazing.