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Sundown Devotional: A Different Kind of Help

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

Welcome to Sundown Devotional. At the end of the workweek, away from the stress of the workplace, from the hustle and bustle in the streets, we relax, reminisce, reflect and share inspiration from our meditation on a short Scripture passage.Today, we focus on helping others. Christian or not, we will all be encouraged.

Photo by Victor R. Ruiz

Photo by Victor R. Ruiz

The Practical Help Poll

The Devotional

Peter took the lame man by the right hand
and helped him up. (Acts 3: 7 NLT)

He was lame but not completely helpless (Acts 3:1-8). He had regular helpers who brought him to his usual spot by the temple gate every day. He received further help from the worshippers who, on their way in and out of the temple, dropped some coins. He also helped himself by actively begging. With all this help, however, he remained lame. It took Peter’s help to cancel his lameness.

The world needs more people like Peter―people who have the divine insight to look beyond the beggars’ wants and see their needs. Those who have only money can give only money, and they deserve commendation for their giving. Still, believers like Peter and like us, if we live lives empowered by God’s Holy Spirit, can add something more. We can become agents of life-changing help to the helpless.

Some consider themselves helpless, only because the help they receive leaves them stuck in the rut. They continue to beg for food, when what they really need are friendships which can help them grow in responsibility. They beg for hand-me-downs when what they really need are skills to help them reach their full potential. These are the people who need Spirit-filled help―the kind of help that lifts them up and out of mere survival into full salvation. It is possible that in our efforts to bring about such change, God will bless our efforts with miracles.

The responsibility for change belongs both to the helpless who can figure out their real needs, and have the courage to voice them; and to the helpers, who with their God-given insight can discern real needs, and rely on divine intervention for their supply. The challenge is for us, believers, to be available and willing to fill real needs.

Prayer: Dear God, may we represent You as the Source of our Help, in our willingness to help others; not necessarily according to their request, but definitely according to Your supply. We pray with thanksgiving, in Jesus name. Amen.

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Quotes for the Helper

  • As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. ― Sam Levenson
  • The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless. ― Billy Graham
  • The strongest people find the courage and caring to help others, even if they are going through their own storm. ― Roy T. Bennett
  • Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them. ― Dalai Lama
  • There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. ― John Holmes
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Quotes for the Helpless

  • My only advice is to stay aware, listen carefully, and yell for help if you need it. ― Judy Blume
  • Being helpless is like being paralyzed. It's sickness. The cure calls for a monumental effort to stand up and start walking somewhere, anywhere. But that takes some doing. ― Chuck Barris
  • We all hit moments when we feel helpless. The test is how we react to that feeling. We can either learn from it and move forward or let it drag us down. ―Travis Bradberry
  • It's easy to feel helpless― like you can't fight the tide. But remember: small actions can have a huge impact, and one person like you can inspire others to action. ― Celeste Ng
  • I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time―waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God―it changes me. ― William Nicholson

More Sundown Devotionals

  • Sundown Devotional: Struck Down but Not Destroyed
    When circumstances throw us down and we can't keep up, God can help us catch up. With just a minimal ray of hope, we can cry out for help. He is able to restore our souls and remedy our situations.
  • Sundown Devotional: What Makes a Good Choice?
    It is not a good choice if it is motivated by fear, pet peeves, hidden agendas or the intention to hurt someone. So what makes it a good choice? Does God make any offer to help us with our choices?

© 2019 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 21, 2019:

Bill, thanks for keeping up, no matter the time. Like the new pic.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on November 21, 2019:

It's not how you arrive. It's when you arrive, and boy, am I late! What I've also found out is that the message is the same as it would have been a week ago, So at least, I didn't miss the blessing. Thank you, Dora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 19, 2019:

Nithya, that's looking beyond their wants and providing for their real needs. It may take more time and effort but its more worth the while.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on November 18, 2019:

A positive and inspiring Sundown Devotional. It would be great if we can help in a way that benefits a person in the long run. Great quotes, thank you for sharing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

RJ, I appreciate the comment. Happy that God blessed you in your need, and what an honor to be able to bless others!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

Thanks, Lori. That's a noble goal and I will work towards it, with God's help.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

Demas, I appreciate you encouraging comment. Thank you and thank God for enabling me.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

Thanks, Tim. That's a personal challenge for me. Our Lord said that helping one of the least is helping Him. This is one sure way to show my love and loyalty to Him.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

Cheryl, thanks for your kind comment. Encouragement boomerangs.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

Luis, thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you find the Christian lifestyle rewarding.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

Thank you, Antonio. True, "whatever we do for others, we're actually doing for God himself, which in effect is storing up spiritual treasures in heaven."

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

Antonio, thanks for sharing. It is true that when we treat someone kindly, others are likely to do the same thing.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

Thanks, Linda. The truth is, that we all need (or needed) help at sometime. When we can be help, we are paying it forward for ourselves or our children.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 16, 2019:

Audrey, glad you like the devotional. Some people, like you, find it easier to give, but remember that if nobody receives, nobody gets to give. Therefore it would be good for givers to receive sometimes.

RJ Willo on November 16, 2019:

Do recall times when I needed help. However my greatest blessings seem to be when I can help someone in need. Very inspiring post. Continue the good work my friend

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on November 16, 2019:

So much wisdom here, Dora. I would say three of the four poll questions applied to me but I give as much love and assistance to others as I can, not in my dollars, but just reaching out to them. I can do more and will.

I hope when you have enough of these devotionals you will published them. God bless you.

Antonio50S on November 16, 2019:

I have to day Dora. This is definitely a different kind of help. I know and read of politicians who's trying to Rid of poverty worldwide. To understand the True needs of a person is probably going to the very root of the problem. Me and my own kids have talked about why people get in these situations to begin with, but the truth is, many find it hard even talking about these things because of the worlds perception of them.

Saying that, i think that's probably a big factor in why people become homeless and needy in the first place. The "world's perception" and "Insesitivity" to the "true needs" of individuals before they get into that situation.

As you say, "They continue to beg for food, when what they really need are friendships" especially "Spirit-filled help which goes beyond the physical.

Not so long ago i was in a Christian book shop that sells books. This exited homeless man came in to buy a bible, but only had so much money. It's a shame the book shop had to charge him for the book, i wanted to pay for it myself, but the man was that exited i let him pay for it himself.

Maybe because he was getting himself out of a bad situation, and never wanted to embarrass him, but this other girl who genuinely needed help "money wise" wanted to give me a Big Hug but told her don't embarrass me in front of everyone please :)

When we think about it, what we own don't really belong to us anyway, but we do have the opportuniy to help and feel good about it afterwards as well. In other cases, giving money is "NOT" advisable at all.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on November 16, 2019:

Good doctrine well taught.

Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on November 16, 2019:

Enlightening and true to the letter. I love this line: "The challenge is for us, believers, to be available and willing to fill real needs." Fabulous, Ms. Dora.

Cheryl E Preston from Roanoke on November 16, 2019:

Thanks again for motivating us to higher levels.

Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on November 16, 2019:

Thanks for sharing. I love to read something that concerns about Christianity because I am also a Christian.

Antonio50S on November 16, 2019:

( Proverbs 19:17 NIV ) "He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done"

That means whatever we do for others, we're actually doing for God himself, which in effect is storing up spiritual treasures in heaven. There won't be anything in the Physical world that's going to be compared to the Spiritual returns God gives.

( Proverbs 3:13-16 NIV ) Silver, Gold, and Rubies "cannot" be compared to Wisdom and Understanding. Nothing we desire can be compared to it which is a "tree of life" for those who embrace her.

Great subject MsDora.

Antonio50S on November 15, 2019:

Just reading that William Shakespeare Quote. Some time back i was inside the the Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon UK. I was standing there inside the Chancel Area of the Church looking at William Shakespeare's burial site, next to his wife Anne Hathaway. While i was looking, an attendant of the Church was looking at me. I said to him, I'm sure i just seen the faded name "William Shakespeare" on a headstone outside in the Church yard ? The attendant said, that was a common name back then. I looked at him and said, "I never knew that" :)

But Seriously. As the Shakespeare quote says, "to support them after" is the ideal.

A couple of weeks ago i seen this homeless man say in his late 20s sitting on the floor reading a pocket size NIV bible. I stopped, kneeled down and asked him what are you reading ? After telling me, i asked why you reading that ? His reply was "It gives me hope" then we got into a conversation about the bible, including why it gave him hope. Just me kneeling there talking with him, made others stop and give him food as well. Interesting that.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on November 15, 2019:

The world would be a much better place if we all helped others. I appreciate the reminders about the importance of providing help, Dora.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on November 15, 2019:

Shakespear's quote is marvelous..and so is this article. A well-written eye-opener. Is it just me or do others find it easier "to give" than "to receive?"

Thank you, Dora, for this lovely Sundown Devotional.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Nell. Your comment tells it like it is. Most of us have been both the helpless and the helper at different times in our lives. Let's continue to help when we can, remembering with gratitude the times when we were helped.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Hi Layne, in my very first paragraph, I illustrated the kind of help that perpetuates a beggar's lifestyle, versus the kind of help that enables the beggar to reach his full potential. The second kind of help is the different kind of help that this article promotes. It takes honest confession of his real need from the beggar, and honest effort to give his best help from the helper. This is the correct balance that you and I would like to see.

At the same time, there'll always be someone who needs help. Even the habitual helper will be in need of help, sometime. When our consciences (God's voice, if we're connected) tell us to help, let's just help, without trying to judge the outcome.

I appreciate your comment, which gives me the opportunity to clear that up. Thank you.

Nell Rose from England on November 15, 2019:

Hi Dora, I definitely voted in your poll as I have needed a couple of these helps in the past. And of course I have helped others too, which is something that always makes me feel good. I always love reading your inspiring words.

Layne Holmes from Bend, Oregon on November 15, 2019:

Hi Dora, this is helpful. This touches a bit on enabling and perpetuating. It's hard to find the right balance, and like you mentioned, look for the person's true needs and not the temporary band aid. We see that a lot in our society.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Linda. God loves the givers and blesses them. So don't be afraid to ask. Give them more opportunities to get their blessings. Plus, some needs may not be noticed unless someone asks.

Thanks also for your insight on prayer as a response to a request for help.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on November 15, 2019:

Sometimes as the one who needs help, it's difficult to ask. It's not a matter of pride, it's that I don't like to impose or inconvenience anyone.

As for giving help, I've often heard people say "All I can do is pray." My response is that is the very best thing you can do for someone. Just think about who you are talking with!

I love these sundown devotionals

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Kari, for reading, sharing and suggesting. I agree. I should have added "All of the above." Happy that you enjoyed the article.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Mary. Your willingness will lead you to people who need your help. And every bit of your effort counts.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Bill, you are good at learning, applying and sharing the lessons you gain from life's circumstances. Your life has been purposeful and beneficial to those of us who interact with you. Hope your tears remind you of that.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Eric. I will repeat your quote to increase its chances of being read. Such a good one!

"The finest lesson we can teach our young is the wealth to be found in helping others, but first we must teach them to help themselves."

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on November 15, 2019:

Hi Dora. I found it hard to vote in the survey. I have personally helped and been helped in all categories. Maybe you should add an all of the above, lol. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this. I love that Dali Lama quote. It sounds a little like the Hippocratic Oath.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 15, 2019:

This is piercing me as I don't think I help enough so more and more I reach out to those whom I know need help.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 15, 2019:

I think people who have felt hopelessness are good givers. I loved this devotional. Like Eric, I had tears in my eyes as the flashbacks of my life skittered by....beautiful,my friend.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on November 15, 2019:

Dora I had to come back as tears welled up in my eyes. "The finest lesson we can teach our young is the wealth to be found in helping others, but first we must teach them to help themselves". I don't remember who wrote that ;-) This Devotional is just so touching and so real. Com Ong

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Devika. Sure, we help in whatever way we can, and that's acceptable.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Pam, your comment is a great source of encouragement to me. Talk about helping! Thank you very much.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Manatita. "Peter . . . saw God in his fellow humans." I like that.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Liz. Helping people to help themselves is the ultimate form of help. Then they can help others.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Flourish. "We will all need help at some point." Sometimes even the habitual helper will join the line for help.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on November 15, 2019:

Thanks, Marlene. You illustrated the theme of this devotional perfectly. "Even a well-spoken word can help bring someone out of a slump."

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on November 15, 2019:

Help to make things easier or help for when needed the most is often unexpected or when you least expect it.

One can help as much or as little as they want and still appreciate it.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on November 15, 2019:

It is possible to help in so many ways, and I really like the quotes that speak to helping. I feel inspired after reading your articles, Ms Dora. I love the stories where Jesus reached out to people and healed them. I liked your prayer today and these Friday devotionals are wonderful.

manatita44 from london on November 15, 2019:

Great inspirational call to seva … to selfless service from the Heart. Where else can it come from? Certainly not from the greedy and callous. Peter was a devotee of God and saw God in his fellow humans. May we all do the same. Another exquisite piece.

Liz Westwood from UK on November 15, 2019:

Thanks for another inspirational and thought provoking article. I have noticed a trend in recent years of focussing more on helping people to help themselves. For example I have heard of micro loan systems being set up in poor areas of Africa to encourage people to set up their own businesses. Many have thrived as a result.

FlourishAnyway from USA on November 14, 2019:

Help takes a variety of forms and not always what we ask. Sometimes we have to see what is offered as an opportunity even though it’s unexpected and not precisely what we ordered up. We will all need help at some point, even if it’s a ride to the doctor for a medical procedure.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on November 14, 2019:

Another wonderful devotional. I like that they are presented at the end of the week. Perfect timing for me because it helps me go into the weekend stronger.

Last night, at Bible study, a lady placed a few coins in the collection box and claimed, "I know it's not much but..." And then I was so proud that my husband interrupted and blurted out with, "It's OK, because, God multiplies whatever we give to bring help to His people." I hope it helped to make that lady feel better.

Help comes in many forms. Even a well-spoken word can help bring someone out of a slump.

Thank you for your very fine devotional.