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How to Help

Love Others  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We have a desire and drive to help others how are we to do so.

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How to Help

We have been studying the second greatest commandment to Love our neighbors as ourselves, for 5 gatherings now. This will be number 6. Today we are going to look at a very reasonable method of love and that is to help.
It is natural for us to want to help people and it is also natural for us to need help from people. The giving and acceptance of help is a tool YHWH uses to build communities or congregations. How many relationships started over someone giving you a hand or you giving someone else a hand? Perhaps it was just that one of you was very shy and needed someone else to take the first step. Perhaps one of you had a genuine material need and the other was able to fill it. Rather it was something simple or something major I think all of us have had some kind of relationship start with receiving or giving help.
So we understand the importance of help. Let us recognize a few things. It can be exhausting. Sometimes it is all we can do to get through the day and yet we are expected to answer and assist one another. It can be hard to know when to stop or start giving help. If we are just going to be frank for a moment, offering help to a person can be a very awkward situation and sometimes only gets worse as we go. Let us also acknowledge it can be hard to help because so much is asked of us and we do not even know when to quit. To be all things to all people and to give help when ever we think we see someone who needs it is an easy and expensive trap to fall in to. Just to give relief to some of us, we are not expected nor are we supposed to be all things to all people. It is also not for us to help every single thing for every single person. So what are we supposed to do? How do we provide help and when? The answer to this is it depends.
To know what to do when requires us to know the person. Some things that we can help with are easier to do than others and require less relationship. If we see someone lifting a heavy object then we do not need much of a relationship to offer to help them lift it. If we see someone in need of food we do not need much a relationship to give them a sandwich. How about when some one needs a job? Might need to know them before recommending them at your company. So it is obvious that this is a variable range of knowing a person before we can help them. Truly we could talk for days on this range and what is and is not appropriate level of relationship building and helping. Today we will concentrate on what level of help to give and when. We are going to look at giving spiritual help, mental help, physical help, and reality help.
First we are all under spiritual attack everyday. tells us  Be sober, watch, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. So we are being hunted in a spiritual manner and we need to have help. What does this help look like? It is prayer and fasting.
We have said all things begin and end with prayer. It is absolutely so. We all need this type of help as well. We need prayer. What do we pray for though? We are also called on to confess to each other our SINs. This is really hard spiritual help is it not? This requires us to be vulnerable before each other. We have to have a community and relationship to get to this level of spiritual help. Sometimes we even need to fast for one another. If nothing else when all is well with us and we have no need to fast or confess we should be joined together in praises of our master who has led us by the still waters and the green pastures. is about exactly this type os spiritual help. 13 Is any of you suffering evil? Let him pray. Is anyone in good spirits? Let him sing psalms.
Institute for Scripture Research, The Scriptures (South Africa: Institute for Scripture Research (Pty) Ltd, 2000), .
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the assembly, and let them pray over him, having anointed him with oil in the Name of the Master.
15 And the prayer of the belief shall save the sick, and the Master shall raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he shall be forgiven.
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, so that you are healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous one accomplishes much.
17 Ěliyahu was a man with feelings like us, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain. And it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the land brought forth its fruit.
19 Brothers, if anyone among you goes astray from the truth, and someone turns him back,
20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the straying of his way shall save a life from death and cover a great number of sins.
There is nothing more powerful than two believers going before the throne of grace in prayer for each other. This is how we provide spiritual help for one another.
How about mental help? What should do for this? Just to say this first, there is nothing wrong with a person who may need mental help. Sometimes a person has been hurt so bad in their mind they are beyond our ability to reason with. This is not about that scenario. In those times we maybe limited in what we can do. Just as we could not be expected to lift a 1 ton pickup truck we are also not expected to cure a mental illness. This is not about that scenario. Every one needing mental help is also not at that point.
Institute for Scripture Research, The Scriptures (South Africa: Institute for Scripture Research (Pty) Ltd, 2000), .
We have all had stress and we have all had feelings of inadequacy. We all need someone to help us during these times. The american society is all about “self sufficiency”, that “pull yourself up by your bootstrap” mentality. That is not healthy nor the way the father designed us to live. What did he say when he saw Adam was alone in the garden? He said this is lo tov not good, let us make him a helper. He did not say “well old boy tough it out you can do it if you just grit your teeth and get through it.”
Our goal as we interact with people and the world around us should be to edify everyone. That means build them up. The quickest way to build a person up or break them down is with our words. We should be encouraging each other as much as we can. The encouragement should be honest and heart felt. They should be words of affirmation. Even when the honest reply is a criticism or correction their should be an uplifting of the person. In other words even when we speak to a person to correct something or in a disagreement, they should always be able to see our love for them.
Even with encouragement and affirmation some times a person just needs a hand literally. Some times this can be we just cannot reach something and we need a taller person to get it. Sometimes we need more than that though. Another issue of the american society is this thought that debt is an option or that with enough hard work a person can escape debt on their own or that if they cannot it is their own fault. The reality is sometimes at no fault of oneself a person can get in to debt so bad there is never a chance that they can escape. What do we do? We have these fears that if we do help them they are just going to repeat the same mistakes and end right back where they are. Sometimes we have a fear of they will squander the assistance or become dependent on it. I do not have a perfect solution for these scenarios. I do know that doing nothing is not acceptable. As well I also know that the more loving thing is to give to those in need and not judge them. In we have the Yeshua teaching the sermon on the mount and he addresses this idea of giving physical or material help. He did not limit it to the friend but also the enemy 40 “And he who wishes to sue you and take away your inner garment, let him have your outer garment as well.
41 “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.
42 “Give to him who asks of you, and from him who wishes to borrow from you, do not turn away.
What am I supposed to do when I see someone in need? Give to them.
Lastly this is all well and good but what about reality. What do we do when there is nothing we can do? There is really two things here.
First we can always love one another and try to understand one another. This can take many forms. Sometimes we weep with others and that is all we can do. Sometimes we listen to them and just let them have a chance to speak. This is a huge one honestly. Let no one doubt for a moment every body at some points wants some one to listen to them. Sometimes though it is on us to help them except reality. We learned this this week in the book of Esther during Purim and the readings. Mordekai sent word to Esther to approach the king. Reasonably so she is scared for her life and tells him so. We have Mordekai’s reply in 13 And Mordeḵai commanded them to answer Estěr, “Do not think within yourself to escape in the sovereign’s palace any more than all the other Yehuḏim.
Institute for Scripture Research, The Scriptures (South Africa: Institute for Scripture Research (Pty) Ltd, 2000), .
14 “For if you keep entirely silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Yehuḏim from another place, while you and your father’s house perish. And who knows whether you have come to the reign for such a time as this?”
These are not words of comfort to Esther. Mordekai essentially tells her “ You think your safe because you are the queen? We will be saved either with you or without you. Your only choice is if you will participate or not?” This was not a comfort. This was a cold splash of reality.
We have another example of Yeshua with a young man in  And see, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good shall I do to have everlasting life?”
Institute for Scripture Research, The Scriptures (South Africa: Institute for Scripture Research (Pty) Ltd, 2000), .
17 And He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except One—Elohim. But if you wish to enter into life, guard the commands.”
18 He said to Him, “Which?” And יהושׁע said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’
19 ‘Respect your father and your mother,’ and ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ ”
20 The young man said to Him, “All these I have watched over from my youth, what do I still lack?”
21 יהושׁע
said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven. And come, follow Me.”
22 And when the young man heard the word, he went away sad, because he had many possessions.
23 And יהושׁע said to His taught ones, “Truly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter into the reign of the heavens.
The young man was trying to get Yeshua to say he had done all he needed to do. One might even argue he just wanted affirmation. Yeshua gave him what he needed reality, none are good enough and none can do what is needed to enter heaven only through Yeshua is that possible.
These are the ways we can help others. Sometimes we fast and pray, sometimes we encourage and affirm, sometimes we carry another persons burden, and sometimes we help a person to come to face reality. We must be careful to help each other as needed.
Institute for Scripture Research, The Scriptures (South Africa: Institute for Scripture Research (Pty) Ltd, 2000), .
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