1. FOLLOWING JESUS’ EXAMPLE
a. How did Jesus teach His disciples to work for others? John 13:34.
“The Saviour’s example is to be the standard of our service for the tempted and the erring. The same interest and tenderness and long-suffering that He has manifested toward us, we are to manifest toward others. . . . If Christ dwells in us, we shall reveal His unselfish love toward all with whom we have to do. As we see men and women in need of sympathy and help, we shall not ask, ‘Are they worthy?’ but ‘How can I benefit them?’”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 162.
b. How did Jesus teach the value of the soul? Luke 15:4–10. What can we learn from this?
“The lost coin, in the Saviour’s parable, though lying in the dirt and rubbish, was a piece of silver still. Its owner sought it because it was of value. So every soul, however degraded by sin, is in God’s sight accounted precious. . . .
“The love of Christ, manifested in word and act, will win its way to the soul, when the reiteration of precept or argument would accomplish nothing.
“We need more of Christlike sympathy . . . for poor, suffering, struggling souls, who are often overtaken in fault, sinning and repenting, tempted and discouraged.”—Ibid., pp.163, 164.
2. WORKING FOR THE TEMPTED
a. With what urgency should we work for those outside the fold? Luke 14:23.
“Christian motives demand that we work with a steady purpose, an undying interest, an ever-increasing importunity, for the souls whom Satan is seeking to destroy. Nothing is to chill the earnest, yearning energy for the salvation of the lost.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 164.
b. What attitude should we have toward those struggling with sin? Why? Galatians 6:1; Romans 14:10.
“It was a continual pain to Christ to be brought into contact with enmity, depravity, and impurity; but never did He utter one expression to show that His sensibilities were shocked or His refined tastes offended. Whatever the evil habits, the strong prejudices, or the overbearing passions of human beings, He met them all with pitying tenderness. As we partake of His Spirit, we shall regard all men as brethren, with similar temptations and trials, often falling and struggling to rise again, battling with discouragements and difficulties, craving sympathy and help. Then we shall meet them in such a way as not to discourage or repel them, but to awaken hope in their hearts. . . .
“With a sense of our own infirmities, we shall have compassion for the infirmities of others. . . .
“A tender spirit, a gentle, winning deportment, may save the erring and hide a multitude of sins.”—Ibid., pp.165, 166.
c. What teaching of Jesus should we ever keep in mind while trying to help the tempted? Matthew 7:12.
“We need to put ourselves in the place of the tempted ones. Consider the power of heredity, the influence of evil associations and surroundings, the power of wrong habits. Can we wonder that under such influences many become degraded? Can we wonder that they should be slow to respond to efforts for their uplifting?”—Ibid., p.168.
3. HELPING THE INTEMPERATE
a. What should we remember when trying to help those overcome by addictions? Galatians 6:9; Jude 23.
“In dealing with the victims of intemperance we must remember that we are not dealing with sane men, but with those who for the time being are under the power of a demon. Be patient and forbearing. Think not of the repulsive, forbidding appearance, but of the precious life that Christ died to redeem. As the drunkard awakens to a sense of his degradation, do all in your power to show that you are his friend. . . .
“Open the Bible before the tempted, struggling one, and over and over again read to him the promises of God. . . . Patiently continue your efforts, until with grateful joy the trembling hand grasps the hope of redemption through Christ.
“You must hold fast to those whom you are trying to help, else victory will never be yours. They will be continually tempted to evil. Again and again they will be almost overcome by the craving for strong drink; again and again they may fall; but do not, because of this, cease your efforts.”—The Ministry of Healing, pp. 172, 173.
b. How can those who are caught up in evil habits have victory? Psalm 119:11; 17:4.
“Bid the tempted one look not to circumstances, to the weakness of self, or to the power of temptation, but to the power of God’s word.”—Ibid., p.181.
“The victims of evil habit must be aroused to the necessity of making an effort for themselves. . . . All will be in vain unless they themselves are roused to fight the battle in their own behalf. . . .
“God calls upon them to arouse and in the strength of Christ win back the God-given manhood that has been sacrificed through sinful indulgence.”—Ibid., p.174.
c. In order to gain victory, what should their focus be? Philippians 4:8; Ecclesiastes 9:10 (first part).
“Occupation of mind and body in useful work is essential as a safeguard against temptation.”—Ibid., p.177.
4. MINISTRY FOR THE POOR
a. Who first and foremost among the needy should we help? Galatians 6:10.
“In a special sense, Christ has laid upon His church the duty of caring for the needy among its own members. He suffers His poor to be in the borders of every church. They are always to be among us, and He places upon the members of the church a personal responsibility to care for them.
“As the members of a true family care for one another, ministering to the sick, supporting the weak, teaching the ignorant, training the inexperienced, so is ‘the household of faith’ to care for its needy and helpless ones. Upon no consideration are these to be passed by.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 201.
b. What do the poor often lack, and how can we help them? Proverbs 13:23.
“By instruction in practical lines we can often help the poor most effectively. As a rule, those who have not been trained to work do not have habits of industry, perseverance, economy, and self-denial. . . .
“Real charity helps men to help themselves. . . . True beneficence means more than mere gifts. It means a genuine interest in the welfare of others. . . . To give thought and time and personal effort costs far more than merely to give money. But it is the truest charity.
“Those who are taught to earn what they receive will more readily learn to make the most of it.”—Ibid., pp.194, 195.
c. What promises are there for those who help the poor? Luke 6:35, 38; Proverbs 28:27.
“None need fear that their liberality would bring them to want. Obedience to God’s commandments would surely result in prosperity.”—Ibid., p.187.
“It is God’s purpose that the rich and the poor shall be closely bound together by the ties of sympathy and helpfulness. Those who have means, talents, and capabilities are to use these gifts in blessing their fellow men.”—Ibid., p.193.
5. HELPING THE HELPLESS
a. What other Christian help work is always a part of true religion? James 1:27; Jeremiah 49:11; Deuteronomy 10:18. What blessing is attached to this work?
“When all has been done that can be done in helping the poor to help themselves, there still remain the widow and the fatherless, the aged, the helpless, and the sick, that claim sympathy and care. Never should these be neglected. They are committed by God Himself to the mercy, the love, and the tender care of all whom He has made His stewards.”—The Ministry of Healing, p. 201.
“The Lord provides for the widow and the fatherless, not by a miracle in sending manna from heaven, not by sending ravens to bring them food; but by a miracle upon human hearts, expelling selfishness, and unsealing the fountains of Christlike love.”—Ibid., p.202.
“There is a blessing in the association of the old and the young. The young may bring sunshine into the hearts and lives of the aged. . . . And the young may be helped by the wisdom and experience of the old.”—Ibid., p.204.
b. What do we know about the helpless and poor? Mark 14:7; Deuteronomy 15:11. Why does God allow this?
“In placing among them the helpless and the poor, to be dependent upon their care, Christ tests His professed followers. By our love and service for His needy children we prove the genuineness of our love for Him. To neglect them is to declare ourselves false disciples, strangers to Christ and His love.”— Ibid., p.205.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How can we follow Jesus’ example in working for the erring?
2. What can we learn from how Jesus met depravity and impurity?
3. How can we help those battling with addictions? What should we remember?
4. What class of needy people should we never neglect?
5. Why has God placed the poor among us? How can we best help them?