This talk was given in September of 2014. The message was taken from a study series entitled "A Lifestyle of Compassion."
What is the single greatest obstacle to helping those in need? This lesson examines the obstacles in our lives that keep us from being compassionate and serving those in need, with a primary focus on the love of money, selfishness, and self-indulgence. The Scriptures call and inspire us to take inventory of our lives and to repent where appropriate, in order to fulfill God's plan to love one another as He intended.
The attached is a series of guided Bible studies designed to build compassion for those who are poor and in need. These studies were written by a group of brothers from various congregations who have spent many years studying the Scriptures and seeking to walk as Jesus did in regards to his heart of compassion for the poor and those in need. These studies inspire us to consider and to imitate Jesus' example. The studies included in this guide are:
- The Footsteps of Jesus. This study examines the question: How can a man who claims to be a follower of Jesus not follow his example of compassion?
- Spiritual Obstacles to Serving the Needy. This study examines the obstacles in our lives that keep us from being compassionate and serving those in need, with a primary focus on the love of money, selfishness, and self-indulgence.
- Generous and Willing to Share: The Extra Mile. This study on generosity examines the heart and actions of Jesus and the disciples, and inspires (and calls) us to go the extra mile in our lives of giving.
- Brother, Neighbor, Foreigner, Enemy. This study examines the Biblical teaching on how to prioritize our service to others, as well as to see the many opportunities we have to be like Jesus.
- Why is Secrecy Important? This study examines the importance of secrecy in our service to others, as well as reminds us that our acts of service are not hidden from God, that it is He alone we are serving, and He who is to receive all the glory.
- What is Poverty? This study examines God's plan in both the Old and New Testaments to care for those in need. The lesson calls us to implement God's commands in order to change the destiny of many who live in poverty.
- When, Where and How? The purpose of this study is to help us recognize the opportunities each of us are given to serves others, and to understand how our unique talents, gifts, life situations and interests can be used to help meet the needs of others and to become more like Jesus.