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“When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me.” Matthew 25:35 (CEV)

During the Great Depression the United States Government instituted a plan which was designed to help those in desperate straights get back on their feet. Depending on your political views, it was a defining moment in our history as it gave jobs to the jobless, food to the hungry, homes to the homeless and hope (physically anyway) to the hopeless.

But there is something that welfare, or any government help program will never be able to do. Government, no matter how compassionate will never be able to meet the need of the soul. It may provide health care, but it will never heal the wound of the heart. It may provide food, but will never fill the hunger of the heart.

Even within the body of Christ there are many fine, worthy, shining examples of people reaching out to meet the needs of the world through a variety of outreach endeavors abroad and at home. Many have not only had their physical needs met through these programs, their spiritual and emotional needs have been met as well. These endeavors are blessed by God and a blessing to the Father as well.

You may look at some of the great things being accomplished and wonder, “What can I do? I’m struggling right now to make it myself. Your home may be in foreclosure or your finances a mess. You may be battling relational difficulties of your own or struggling with addiction. A common lie the enemy will use in cases like that is to say something like, “You’re into your own issues too deep to help much.”

It’s not the mighty things that will change your world, but the little things, the simple gestures that make a difference.  Those small gestures, given in Jesus name will accomplish far more than any program will. Our personal gestures of good will can go deeper to meet not only the physical, but the spiritual and emotional needs of those around us. God doesn’t expect great things from us, he takes the little things we do and make them great!

Offer a kind word and smile to someone today. It may just be the ‘cup of cool water’ they need at that moment. Go out of your way to help someone with a small task. That may be just the meal their soul seeks. Be a friend to someone in prison, a senior citizen in a nursing home, or the person at the office no one will sit with.

Is God honored by the big missions and outreach programs? I think he is. But he is equally blessed by the simple things we do on a daily basis to reach the hearts of those in need around us. That’s the welfare Jesus seeks.

PRAYER: Lord help me see someone today who needs your simple, loving and graceful touch. Help me share the simple things others need for healing today. Amen.

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