• Shawn Thornton

Stop Me If You Need Anything

Friday - January 22nd

Devotionals from the Book of James

Scripture to Read Today: James 1:26-27


Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father

means caring for orphans and widows in their distress.

James 1:27a NLT

In a war-ravaged country now battling coronavirus, one Yemeni doctor dispenses medical assistance from his car. "Stop me if you need a medical consultation," reads a large sticker on the rear window of Sami Yahya al-Hajj's four-wheel drive. Next to the sticker is another sticker. It is a cartoon figure of the bearded doctor wearing his square glasses. Dr. Sami (as he is known to locals) has now gathered a large social media following because of his gracious efforts to help others.

As he offers diagnoses and prescriptions to those in need who stop him on the street, the doctor's phone chirps with messages and calls from patients seeking to explain their medical problems. The Agency French Press (AFP) quotes Hajj as saying that he started giving free consultations via social media but then wanted to reach those without access to such technology. "I thought about the poor and those in need on the streets who cannot get medical advice or don't have the money for it," he told AFP.

Yemen is facing what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. A war between the government and Huthi rebels has killed tens of thousands and displaced four million people.

Dr. Sami seeks ways to meet the poor and powerless in their distress and help them with the skills and resources he has in life. I love how he realized that the poorest of the poor could not even contact him via social media since they could not afford the devices to do so. He adapted his approach to meet them where they were.

As Christians, we often think that our authenticity is seen through our ability to argue for our faith or quote many verses. We might impress other people with our devotion and religiosity, but God evaluates the authenticity of our faith in a very different way. He looks at whether we are "caring for orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27). Widows and orphans in the ancient world were considered the least powerful and among the poorest of people. In Matthew 25, Jesus would say that what we did for "the least of these" we did for Him.

Are you drawn to the needs of the poor and the powerless? Or, do you condemn them for not working harder, doing more to improve their own lives? Have you overlooked those that Jesus calls "the least of these?" Do you make excuses for why you don't engage them? Have you gotten comfortable letting other people help them instead of you?

Ask God to open your heart, mind, and eyes to the poor and the powerless. Look for ways to help those in need the way Dr. Sami goes out of his way to help hurting people!

Let’s be stop me if you need anything kind of people! Jesus was.

When we meet the needs of the poor and powerless, we demonstrate the authenticity of our commitment to Christ!


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