December 17, 2014

17 Dec 2014

Message:  “Caring Leads to Trusting!!”

Preacher Larry

         Today, as I was preparing this message, the Lord was impressing upon me, the act of Caring for those who are less fortunate. (The Needy!!)  At one time or another all of us have been, or became, needy!!  So tonight, I want to touch on some of the things that may have caused us to be needy, and what the Lord expects us to do for ourselves, or those in need!!

One of the most common excuses for not giving to the needy is: “I had to work hard for what I’ve got; so should they.” True, the Bible teaches that if you’re not willing to work you’re not entitled to support (See 2Th 3:10). But did you know:

(1) Six million chil­dren under five, die every year of starvation?

(2) One out of seven people, goes to bed hungry every night?

(3) The three richest people on the planet, have more collective wealth than the combined gross national product of the world’s forty-eight poorest countries? General Booth, who founded the Salvation Army, said, “How can you convince a man of the love of God if his feet are perishing with the cold?” If your prayers aren’t being an­swered, here’s something to consider. The Israelites fasted and prayed, then complained that God wasn’t answering their prayers. That’s when He told them: “This is the kind of fast day I’m after: to break the chains of injustice. . .get rid of exploitation in the workplace, free the oppressed, cancel debts… I’m interested in seeing you… sharing your food with the hungry. . .putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on, and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way. The glory of God will secure your passage. Then when you pray, God will answer. You’ll call out for help and I’ll say, ‘Here I am'” (Isa 58:6-9 TM). When you care for the needy, the Lord promises to “deliver [you] in time of trouble” (Ps 41:1 NKJV)— and you can take that to the bank.

  “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too” (Php 2:4 NLT). Spiritual maturity, is the ability to see and act in the best interests of others. Imma­ture people, have difficulty seeing things from someone else’s point of view. They rarely concern themselves with what’s best for the other guy. In many ways they’re like children. In “Property Law as Viewed by a Toddler,” Michael V. Hernandez describes the world from a typical child’s viewpoint:

(1) If I like it, it’s mine.

(2) If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.

(3) If I can take it from you, it’s mine.

(4) If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.

(5) If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.

(6) If I’m doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.

(7) If it looks like mine, it’s mine.

(8) If I saw it first, it’s mine.

(9) If I can see it, it’s mine.

(10) If I think it’s mine, it’s mine.

Unfortunately, maturity doesn’t always come with age; sometimes age comes alone. You must fight your inherent selfish attitude, and that can be a lifelong battle. But it’s an important one, because if you don’t win, you’ll end up focused on your own agenda, and overlook other people. Unless somebody’s important to your cause or your interests, they won’t get your time or attention. The Bible says in Php 2:5 NLT, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had,” and everything He did, He did for others. Bottom line: If you’re serious about following in His footsteps, practice being unselfish.

Great leaders often have great egos, and therein, lies great danger. In “The Empowered Communicator”, Calvin Miller uses the form of a letter, to describe this problem and the negative impact it has: “Dear speaker, your ego has become a wall, between yourself and me. You’re not really concerned about me, are you? You’re mostly concerned about whether or not, this speech is really working.. .about whether or not, you’re doing a good job. You’re really afraid that I will not applaud, aren’t you? You’re afraid that I won’t laugh at your jokes or cry over your emotional anecdotes. You’re so caught up in the issue, of how I’m going to receive your speech, you haven’t thought much about me, at all. I might have loved you, but you’re so caught up in self-love, that mine is really unnecessary. If I don’t give you my attention, it’s because I feel so unnecessary here. When I see you at the microphone, I see someone in the mirror . .wondering is my tie straight? Is my hair straight? Is my demeanor impeccable? Is my phraseology perfect? You seem in control of everything but your audience. You see everything so well, except for us. But this blindness to us, I’m afraid, has made us deaf to you. We must go now. Sorry. Call us sometime later. We’ll come back to you, when you’re real enough to see us.. .after your dreams have been shattered.. .after your heart has been broken.. .after your arrogance has been reckoned with despair. Then there will be room for all of us, in your world. Then you won’t care if we applaud your bril­liance. You’ll be one of us.”

John Craig says, “No matter how much work a man can do, no matter how engaging his personality may be, he will not advance far if he cannot work through others.” That requires you to see value in other people. This truth is understood worldwide, by success­ful people from every walk of life. At an international meeting of company executives, an American business person asked an executive from Japan, what he regarded as the most important language for world trade.

 The American thought the answer would be English. But the Japanese executive, who had a more complete understanding of business, replied, “My customers’ language.” Having a good product or service, isn’t enough. Becoming an expert, isn’t enough. Knowing your product but not your customers, just means you’ll have something to sell and no one to buy. Furthermore, the value you place on people, must be genuine. Leadership coach Bridget Raymond writes, “You can talk until you’re blue in the face, but people know in their gut, if you really care about them.” If you want to con­nect with others, you have to get over yourself, change your focus from inward, to outward, away from yourself, and onto them. And the great thing is, you can do it. Anyone can. All it takes is the will to change, the determination to follow through, and a handful of skills that anybody can learn. The motivation to learn, can again be found in these words in Php 2:4 NLT  from the apos­tle Paul: “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” When you look for opportunities to invest in others, you’ll find them.

The people you seek to influence in life, always ask themselves: Do you care about me? Think about the best experiences you’ve had with people in your own life. What do they all have in common? They genuinely cared about you, right? And what’s wonderful is, you can broaden your ability to care about others, outside your social circle. Regard­less of your profession, when you help people, you make your life, and theirs, better. Listen to some observations by successful people, from various backgrounds.

From Business Backgrounds. You can’t make the other fellow feel important, in your presence, if you secretly feel that he’s a nobody” (Les Giblin, former national salesman of the year and popular speaker).

From the Political Background. “If you would win a man to your cause, you must first convince him that you are his sin­cere friend” (President Abraham Lincoln).

From an Entertainment Background. “Some singers want the audience to love them. I love the audience” (Luciano Pavarotti, legendary Italian opera tenor).

 From a Ministry Background.  “The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have” (Norman Vincent Peale, pastor and author).

The Psalmist wrote in Ps 142:4, “No man cared for my soul.” And deep down, some of the people you deal with every day, feel that way too. Whether you’re trying to share your faith, do business with them, make friends, or help them in a particular area, you must prove to them that you, truly care. It takes time, it takes effort, and even sacrifice, but if you’re serious, about connecting with others, you’ll do it. Chances are somebody did it for you, and it helped determine the person you are today. So how about you do it for others!

Here are three questions people often ask themselves when you’re talking to them:

(1) Do you realty care about me? Dr. Calvin Miller put it like this: “When people listen to others speak, sometimes they’re silently thinking, ‘I am loneliness waiting for a friend. I am weeping in need of laughter. I am a sigh in search of consolation. I am a wound in search of healing. If you want to unlock my attention, you have but to convince me you want to be my friend.”

(2) People ask themselves Can you really help me? Successful people, continually remind themselves that others are constantly wondering if “They can really be helped by me.”   And one way you can answer it is, by focusing on the benefits you have to offer. Let’s face it, people are bombarded, every day, with the informational features of this product and that gadget So eventually, they tune out.

(3) People ask Can I realty trust you? William Arthur Ward wrote, “Blessed is he who has learned to admire – but not envy, to follow – but not imitate, to praise – but not flatter, and to lead – but not manipulate.”

 Your charisma and ability may get you to the top, but only your charac­ter and commitment will keep you there. Trust is built on telling the truth, and following through on your commitments. People take action for their own reasons, not yours. And what we learn about them, always results in a greater reward than what we tell them about ourselves. Whether they’re buying a car, choosing a mate, or listening to a sermon, deep down they want to know, “Can I trust this person?” Well…can they?

During this Christmas Season, I challenge each and everyone of us, to reach out to someone and show them that we care.  A Family member, a friend, a co-worker, even your neighbor.  If we start this season with a truly caring attitude, then the year of 2015 can be a year where you and I can make a difference.  “Caring will lead to Trusting” and after that the sky is the limit!!

So, “Do you Care – Can I Trust you!!”