Our “Brother’s” Keeper

20160329_100111I was glad to reconnect with my Tuesday prayer time with County officials this morning. I also attended a breakfast meeting with some seniors from Timberline Church.

I met retired missionary Harry Weimar. Harry lost his wife of 60 years a year ago. He was her primary caregiver for 11 years. I was amazed at Harry’s attitude and continued focus on ministry. About 40 years ago his missionary service in Japan was cut short because of his wife’s health. They settled in San Fransisco and the Lord placed Harry around several Korean’s that he ministered too while working in secular employment. At this stage in his life, he conducts regular chapel services at an Assisted Living Center and even goes by several times a week, just to visit residents. He has his own website (www.knowingjesuschrist.com), whose content is available in 12 languages and is working on a plan to reach Korean’s through the internet. Harry is 85!

Just when you begin to believe your most productive years are behind, you meet a “Harry Weimar” and realize you have a long way to go!

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”  Philippians 2:4 HCSB

Our grandchildren were with us a few days during their spring break. Christian came up to get them and help us out with some work around the house. As they were getting all their “stuff” together and heading to the car, older brother Riley walked over some things that his brother Caedmon had left behind. When his father called it to his attention, he responded, “those aren’t mine, their Caed’s!” Christian used it as an opportunity to admonish his children that, “we are to look out for each other.”

Paul is admonishing believer’s to do the same thing. It is easy for us to be self-absorbed and concerned only for ourselves. It is easy to do what is “best for us” even if it is not good for others. It is easy for us to overlook the needs of others. Paul wrote to the Galatians about this focus on “others” when he said, “…as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10 NIV) We are to view fellow believers as part of the spiritual family of Christ to which we all belong.

What does it take to, “look out for the interests of others”? Paul uses the example of Christ and the first thing he points out is Christ’s example of humility.

“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God
as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied HimselfHe humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:6,8 HCSB)

First and foremost, humility is an attitude. It is how we view ourselves,  and others. It is natural to be “better than.” We seek for that from our early years. We seek better grades, we seek to be a better athlete, we seek to be a better musician, we seek to be more popular. It thought it was interesting to hear my friend Bud Hill, share about his daughter Twyla (who is my massage therapist) being advanced academically when she was a child in school. He said, “sometimes she would intentionally miss a question or two on a test, because she didn’t want the boys to feel bad.”

If humility is an attitude, serving is the action. Paul says of the eternal Son of God, He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men.” (Philippians 2:7 HCSB) Paul said that if “someone’s gift is serving, let him serve.” (Romans12:7)

Jesus before the cross took the place of a servant and washed the disciples feet. (John 13:1-3) He said, I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you.” (John 13:5 HCSB) He also told His disciples, “…even the Son of Man came not be served, but to serve….” (Mark 10:45)

When we serve, God takes care of the recognition and the rewards. Paul said of Jesus , For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow—
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11 HCSB)

Paul consistently in his letters referred to himself as a “servant and a apostle.” Toward the end of his life he affirmed with confidence, There is reserved for me in the future the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me, but to all those who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:8 HCSB)

A servant seeks to please his master and to receive rewards from him. When we focus on serving others, with the attitude and actions of Christ as our example, we can be confident that our actions are pleasing to Him and that He will reward us in His way and in His time.