Your hand is God's hand ...
Never walk away from someone who deserves help; your hand is God's hand for that person. Don't tell your neighbor "Maybe some other time" or "Try me tomorrow" when the money's right there in your pocket. Don't figure ways of taking advantage of your neighbor when he's sitting there trusting and unsuspecting. Proverbs 3:27-29 MSG
These verses speak to me about the tension that exists between the evangelical and social gospel. On one hand, there is an idea floating around that presents the notion that all we need is God and a personal relationship Him. On the flip-side some embrace the idea that the gospel is not for "me" but for "us". My thinking is that God reveals his love to us through others - as Solomon puts it "your hand is God's hand". The gospel is all about a love that changes us.
The word "neighbor" reminds me of the parable of the Good Samaritan. The telling of the parable was provoked by the question "Who is my neighbor?" That story so speaks to me of what it means to love your neighbor. Yet in the mind of a Jew, the Samaritan was the least likely person to be the loving hand of God for another person. It teaches me of how God can and will use anyone to love those who He loves. The gospel is all about a love that helps our neighbor.
Teach me Lord to love my neighbor Lord. Help me to be your hands for the one who needs you today.