2 Corinthians 8:3
Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that
by His poverty He could make you rich (v.9).
For 2 months in Uganda, I was without a car
and had to travel by foot or by using public
transportation. I squeezed into crowded matatus
(minivan taxis) and weaved through traffic on the backs
of boda bodas (motorcycle taxis). Many times, when
no ride was available, I walked in the pouring rain.
Moving about in that fashion was humbling, timeconsuming,
and frustrating. But most of all it was eyeopening
as I saw and experienced my surroundings in
ways that I never had before.
Parting with various belongings or comforts will shift
our vantage point and enhance our empathy. And who
better to illustrate that than Jesus, who left His heavenly
throne to walk among us on earth (Philippians 2:6-8).
Though He didn’t have to, Jesus joined us on this
side of heaven. He slept in a manger (Luke 2:6-7). He
survived life in the wilderness (Mark 1:12). He felt our
grasping hands as we followed Him on the streets (Luke
6:19, 8:43-48). He dealt with our arguments (Mark
8:14-21). He touched our ailing bodies with His bare
hands and healed us (vv.22-25). He washed our dirty
feet (John 13:4-5). He prayed, cried, and pleaded
for help (Hebrews 5:7). He experienced betrayal and
endured physical beatings (John 18:1-11,23). He bore
our shame, died for us, and saved us (Isaiah 53:3;
Colossians 1:19-21; Hebrews 12:2-3).
Jesus didn’t have to leave heaven, but He did out of obedience to the Father
and love for you and me. He now implores us to leave our comfort zones by
caring for orphans and widows (James 1:27), and to seek justice on behalf of
the oppressed (Isaiah 1:17).
Don’t close your eyes to the hurting. Instead, enter into their world so you can
help them experience Jesus.
Second 1 Timothy 1:5 tells us not to be “afraid of suffering for the Lord.”
What is something God has asked you to do that you haven’t begun
because of fear?
How will you imitate Jesus and His love for people this week? What
is one specific thing you will do today for a person in need?