Doing What We Can

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by Luke Kincaid

Last week I found that I was feeling rather down. I was feeling hindered at times by my sadness when trying to comprehend what was going on in our country while also dealing with a few personal things. In these times, I find that I can be largely inactive when it comes to the importance of an active faith. I was reminded this past week that when we are feeling down, we can still do what we can when it comes to serving Jesus. Even small acts of love toward others are possible when we are going through difficult times.

The following verses are one of my biggest motivators when it comes to loving others practically:

14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? – James 2:14-16 NLT

I often pop to our local petrol station to a grab a few things when needed and this is when I often bump into my friend I wrote about last week. Something that I have been doing for him recently is purchasing him some bread and cup of hot coffee when I can. A warm beverage and some food to someone who finds themselves fighting from day to day can be such a blessing. On a few occasions I have also asked the security guards where we are currently staying if they would like something from the shops when I am making a trip.

Now my intention of sharing this with you is not to get brownie points of some sort or to puff myself up, but to instead show you that when it comes to loving others practically, we don’t always have to do this in an extravagant way. We can simply do what we can when we feel led by the Holy Spirit to do something. I often find that when showing obedience in this way it often has a positive impact on me in some way thus proving the following words of Jesus that Paul quotes in Acts 20:35 NLT:

35And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

So even though many of us may be going through times of darkness – may we resolve to do what we can to bring some love and light to the world around us.

 

Much love,

Luke

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Jesus – Our Greatest Treasure

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by Luke Kincaid

A few nights ago, at a petrol station, I had such an encouraging conversation with someone I have been building a friendship with. This man’s main source of income is derived from collecting recycling on a daily/weekly basis. He has had a really tough life but as we stood talking, he could not help but openly and publicly declare how amazing and powerful God is.

As we chatted, he was reminded of the chorus of the song “Give Thanks” which says:

And now let the weak say, “I am strong”
Let the poor say, “I am rich
Because of what the Lord has done for us”

After quoting these words he told me to look at his friend who he was with. He pointed out how worn his clothes were and if you had to just look at his outward appearance you would conclude that he was poor. BUT when it comes to our identity in Jesus, we are not defined by what we have but rather who we have – Jesus! It was so encouraging to be reminded that Jesus is the greatest treasure we have in this life:

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. – Philippians 3:8-9 NLT

We ended this conversation by praying together and I went on my way so happy to know that disciples of all walks of life are furthering the kingdom of God in meaningful ways!

 

Much love,

Luke

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Faith & Works

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by Luke Kincaid

One of my favorite scriptures is found in James 2:14-17 (NLT):

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
I am challenged by these Holy Spirit inspired words of James. Walking the talk when it comes to our faith in Jesus is by living out what He commands of us. A faith which is simply proclaimed and not practiced is one which is dead and useless. This leads me to ask myself the question: “Luke, is your faith alive?” And the only way to answer this question is to evaluate how I am currently loving God and people practically.
 
I think it is helpful for all of us to ask ourselves this question. If we truly wish to further Jesus’ kingdom this will only happen through a practical faith. The more people we share Jesus with in both Word and deed, the more we will see people coming to a saving knowledge of Him. And the world definitely needs Jesus!
 
I was reminded of this Scripture in James today while reading through Philippians 3:8-9 (NLT):
 
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
 
After stressing the importance of fixing our thoughts on the right things we see that Paul says that the readers of this letter to the Philippians must keep putting into practice all they have learned and received from him. Again I see that a practical faith is being referenced here. What I really appreciate about Paul is that they were not only to practice what they had heard from him but also what they had seen him do. This mean that Paul himself lived out a practical faith. This is so encouraging because when living out our practical faith we can then lead others through our example. Our words have more authority when backed by action.
 
As I go into this new week I am going to be praying that God gives me more opportunities to show my faith to others through deeds which bring glory to Jesus. May Jesus be magnified through our practical faith as others see that we are not merely proclaiming a faith in Jesus – but we are also willing to prove our faith in Jesus through how we live our lives.
 
Much Love,
 
Luke
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Look Up & Look Around

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by Luke Kincaid

I have been on my phone a lot lately. I often find myself going onto WhatsApp to read and respond to messages when I have some time, I also frequently pop onto YouTube to see if anyone that I am subscribed to has posted any new content and maybe try and sneak in a video or two. While there is nothing wrong with this in principle, I find that I sometimes do these things in the presence of others, even when I am spending time with my son Seth.

There have even been times when Seth as told me that I should put my phone down when spending time with Him which is something that shouldn’t be happening unless I really need to be on it. What I am in danger of is placing more value on an electronic device instead of my amazing little son who is of infinitely more value. I felt challenged by this recently because our lives here on earth are really short compared to our eternity with Jesus which awaits us:

14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. 14 Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like vapor that appears for a little while, then vanishes. – James 4:14 CSB

Since life is so short, I instead need to be present when around others as those are moments which I will never get back again – especially when it comes to Seth since he is growing up so fast. More than this I may even be missing out on opportunities to cultivate important relationships and reach out with Jesus while my nose is buried in my phone!

So I am resolving to look up and look around more instead of using time for others on my phone instead!

 

Much love,

Luke

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