Unusual God - Part 3 [Devo]

Going Deeper | Unusual God - Part 3
How Are You Caring?


On Sunday, Josh Rhodes continued our series “Unusual God” by talking about the vulnerable people all around us. He defined the vulnerable as “a person who is in need of special care, support, or protection because of age, disability, or risk of abuse or neglect.” (lexico.com). His takeaway was, “Caring for the vulnerable among us is God’s heart and our responsibility.”

Several years ago, my wife and I had the opportunity to provide kinship care for a family member. We did it because it was family, and it was the right thing to do. It was what James 1:27 asks us to do: “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” So we saw that caring for our vulnerable family member was our responsibility, our duty.

We cared for this family member for a number of years. It was hard. We grew tired and weary. To make matters worse, I became bitter towards other family members for what they were putting me through. I was checking the boxes and kept up a persona that all was good, but inside, I was miserable. I was “caring” out of duty, instead of “caring” out of love. I was caring, but not really caring.  

Looking back at James 1:27, Josh shared that the verse isn’t a command to obey, but Christianity in its purest form. God doesn’t care for the vulnerable out of duty or obedience, He cares for them out of love. He is the one who created the vulnerable in His own image. He fearfully and wonderfully made each of them. This is how He cares for them, and this is how He cares for each of us.

I wish I could say that everything ended on a good note and that I figured this out during our time providing kinship care. But it wasn’t until a few years later that God began showing me how much He loves me and how vulnerable I am without Him. As I began to understand this truth, I more clearly saw God’s heart for the vulnerable and how He cares for them. Now, when God gives me opportunities to care for the vulnerable — the foreigner, the widow, the fatherless, the poor — I no longer care out of duty and obedience, I care out of love.

How about you? Are you caring for the vulnerable out of duty or love? We can care out of love when we remember how vulnerable we are without God and how much He loves and cares for us!
Author: Bruce Lane, Executive Pastor
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