Jesus went out to towns and villages to do two things. First, He preached and taught. He prioritized spiritual needs. Second, He healed people of their sicknesses and diseases. He met their physical needs. What Jesus did is what difference makers must do: minister to both physical and spiritual needs.
The Bible also teaches this in James. It warns us not to say “God bless you!” to a hungry man and then not give him some food. If you say, “God is with you,” and talk about the Lord, but do not give that hungry man the food that he needs, he is not going to listen to you.
Meeting physical needs allows us to meet spiritual needs. They go hand-in-hand. Do not pray before the meal and then tip only six percent. Be a person who blesses others. The more you meet the physical needs, the more you care, the more you can make a difference in people’s lives.
The other day, my little daughter came up to me. We were at home. I guess we had the air conditioning on a little too low, because she said, “Daddy, I’m freezing. Can I snuggle with you?” For dads, that is a dream moment: Yes, my prayers have been answered, right here, for my daughter to ask to snuggle with me.
We started snuggling. I had my arm around her. I was rubbing her arm a bit, trying to warm her up. She said, “Oh, Daddy, it feels so good. I’m getting warmer!” Then she said, “You are a difference maker!” I said, “You’ve been listening in church! All right! Way to go, girl!” What happened in that little microcosm, that little scene, is that her physical needs were being met as I snuggled with her.
When we minister to and care for people when they have physical needs, at that moment their ears begin to perk up. Because it is then that a Christian is reaching out with the kind of love that Jesus showed. It is then that people will ask, “Tell me more about this Jesus.” Jesus makes a difference in us so that we can make a difference in someone else.
Pray: Jesus, open my eyes to the needs of those around me and help me make a difference in Your Name.