There's One That Followeth After You
By David J. Stewart | November 2015
Matthew 7:12, “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you,
do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.”
As a caring Christian, I deliberately pay attention to little things, and I notice a lot of the selfish things people do (and don't do). Little things are very important to God. Little things, like returning your shopping cart where you found it, when you're done with it. Little things, like letting someone else have the sole parking place when you both arrive at the same time. Little things, like you men lifting the commode seat, so the person following after you will find it clean. Little things, like informing an employee or manager when you spot a safety hazard, a spill on the floor, a crooked pallet that could fall, a sharp object which could hurt someone, et cetera.
Many people simply don't care and have a bad attitude, some very bad. They don't think, or fail to care that somebody will follow behind them. May I say, the Christian life is no accident, it is lived on purpose. When I go into a public restroom, I always roll out an extra papertowel after washing and drying my hands, so the next guy has a towel waiting for him. Sometimes I'll press the garbage down in a garbage pail, if it's full, to make room for the next person. I always keep the mindset that THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER ME, and you ought to have the same Christlike spirit in you!!!
We're talking here about having an excellent spirit. I love the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Daniel 5:12, “Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.” I want to have an excellent spirit like Daniel. How about you? THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
An “excellent spirit” means being Christlike. Anytime we do the selfish thing, it means someone else is being ignored and left out, not being loved as they ought. An excellent spirit means being selfless. It means being generous. It means loving your enemies (who hate, hurt and harass you), instead of seeking vengeance and hating them in return. It means sincerely praying for those who oppress you. It means being considerate and taking care of the little things that most people either don't care about, or simply don't have enough depth of concern to perceive. I watch people walk pass garbage on the ground, with a garbage pail just a few feet away. I almost always pick up garbage when I see it, and put it where it belongs. I could have the typical attitude that “It's not my job” or “That's what someone else gets paid to do” or “I didn't put it there, so why should I clean it up?”; but what does it hurt to kneel down, pick up a piece of trash, and toss it in the waste can? I try to set a good example for both children and adults, by caring enough to pick up litter. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
If nothing else, I know that my heavenly Father is always watching, and He will reward me for caring about little things. If God is going to hold all men accountable for their very words, do you think He won't also hold men accountable for the little things that they do (or don't do). If one Christian cares enough to pick up someone else's garbage and throw it away; but another Christian walks around the garbage and couldn't care less, leaving it for someone else to pick up—do you really think that God doesn't notice little things like that? You better believe God takes notice of everything!!! The same omniscient (all-knowing) God who knows the number of hairs on our head, and doesn't miss a single little sparrow that falls to the ground from the sky, and knows the number of stars in the universe and calls them all individually by name—do you think He is not concerned with our attitude and behavior concerning all the little things of life? The answer is obvious—God does care about little things!!! THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
Matthew 10:29-30, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” You better believe that the Lord cares and notices everything, and He will reward (or not reward) each believer on the basis of every word (Matthew 12:36), every work (Ecclesiasts 12:14), and every thought (Proverbs 24:12). The unsaved will also be judged by their words, works and thoughts; but without hope, damned to the horrorifying Lake of Fire for ever and ever (Revelation 20:13-15). God is a caring God (1st Peter 5:7). God cares about little things more than anyone on earth could ever imagine. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
There is NOTHING is too small for God to judge!!! God cares about little things. If you spit your bubblegum on the ground carelessly, so that someone else steps in it and is inconvenienced by it, you have to answer to God for mistreating your neighbour. Our text verse from Matthew 7:12 is often referred to as “THE GOLDEN RULE,” that is, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If I step in someone's gum and it is stuck all over my shoe, I would love to see the same thing happen to them. That's is the exact basis of how God is going to judge all men in eternity, as taught in Matthew 7:1-2, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Attitudes are contagious, is yours worth catching??? THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
Jesus had an excellent spirit in Him, caring about OTHERS and paying attention to their needs, burdens and in any way He could be a blessing to them. Philippians 2:4-5, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” What mind ought we to have? We are to have Christ's mindset, which was to dwell upon ways to help, assist and bless OTHERS, instead of selfishly always looking to our own needs, ways and ambitions. People are so selfish nowadays, and I don't want to be a part of it. I want to have an EXCELLENT SPIRIT like Daniel and Jesus. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
My friend, there is so very much that you can do to help OTHERS in the Lord. What are the needs of your local church? Does the grass need to be mowed? Are the bathrooms clean, exemplifying the Savior when visitors see and smell the church restrooms for the first time? I've been in Baptist churches where the stench in the men's room was so bad that it was an embarrassment to the pastor and church as a whole. What do stinking, filthy and neglected restrooms say to a new church visitor? It says that no one cares, or the church cannot afford to pay to have someone clean them, and no church member will volunteer because they don't think it's important, or it's not a priority with the church pastors, or someone is not doing their job, et cetera. Why do you think the true saying is often made that: “Cleanliness is next to godliness”? It is because they both require CARING!!! THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
When I visited a local Independent Baptist church a couple years ago and saw the deplorable condition of the men's room at a large church event, I immediately went and kindly inquired where the cleaning supplies were at, and asked if I could please clean the men's room. We ought not complain unless we're willing to offer a solution. With the church janitor's permission I gladly cleaned their men's room. I was being helpful. I did it for Jesus! It just took me 10 minutes. My main thought was how sad it was that a visiting stranger cared more about their church's restroom's more than all the regular church members did. First impressions are truly lasting impressions my friend. My point is that we ought to care about little things as born-again Christians, which sets us apart from the uncaring, selfish and careless world. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
If your neighbour's grass is high, and you are able, why not mow it for them once in a while? There's nothing worse than a Christian who wants to be paid for everything they do. Not me brother. I want to give to others as much as I can in the Lord. That's Jesus in me! Due to my health I am limited in what I can do physically, but there are many other ways to help people. You'd be amazed what just buying a book, or an extra soda, a slice of pizza, or any small gift, would mean to someone if you kindly gave it to them. Sometimes just a few complimentary words of honest praise can greatly encourage someone. I love giving away Alexander Scourby King James Bible DVD's at church, to someone sitting in the pew next to me. I like sharing MP3 sermons on CD disks to help OTHERS. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
Many Americans go out to eat and leave one-third of their food on the plate when they leave, wasting much of it. I either eat all my food, or take the rest with me to go. I am amazed how much food people leave on their plates in restaurants, which goes in the garbage. We are a wasteful culture in America! THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU. I regularly leave Gospel tracks and Gospels of John with a generous tip when I eat at a restaurant. The waiters/waitresses know that I'm a Christian and I don't want them to think I am a wasteful person, like many others are. The exception is if the food is really bad and not edible, which does happen infrequently. I see some men leave the bathroom without washing their hands. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU. I always wash my hands. It's really disgusting the way people have deteriorated in American society today. Men urinate all over the place, leaving a mess for the next guy. It is selfishness and a sin. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
I see empty beer cans by the hundreds littering the public parks. Some people are like pigs, making a mess and tossing their garbage anywhere they feel like leaving it. It is wrong! I was walking in a park one day by the sandy ocean. I was sad as I beheld hundreds of cans, papers, baby diapers, food wrappers, newspapers, bottles, et cetera. I found an empty plastic bag and picked up much of the garbage. I dumped the contents of the plastic bag into the metal garbage pail, and went back for the rest of the trash. I filled two bags with trash. It only took me 15 minutes. It was small stuff, but it was an eye-sore.
Ironically, while I am in constant neck and bodily pain due to stenosis and radiculopathy (and I do my best to clean up my surroundings); perfect healthy people make the mess, and won't lift a finger to clean it up. I don't always clean up everyplace that is messy, because it's not possible to clean up after thousands of people. I do what I can, a little bit here and there. I'm not saying that I drive around looking for garbage to clean up. I'm simply saying that wherever I'm at, if I see a piece of trash on the ground, I usually put it in the garbage. I don't always pick up every piece of garbage, because I simply cannot do it. If everyone cared like I do, there wouldn't be any garbage laying around at all. The problem, is that hardly anyone cares anymore. I'm not boasting, God knows. I'm just hoping that you'll adopt the Christian mindset that I have, which is, THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER ME.
When I shop at a grocery store, and I select an item from the grocery shelf, I reach back and bring another item up to the front row, for the next customer. Do you catch the drift of what I am teaching you? I'm talking about a lifestyle of continually thinking about OTHERS!!! This is the heart of being a good Christian. If we care, then we'll share the Gospel. Our attitude about the literally thousands of little things in our daily life, affects our attitude toward big things and everything!!! I'm talking about CARING!!! THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER ME.
I was in a Cost-U-Less store the other day, which is a discount store. There's no bags. So they often use old boxes from store merchandise. The lady cashier said to me, “I'll be right back.” She brought back a piece of tape and taped one corner of the small box, because it was torn open. She said she didn't want my groceries to fall out on the ground. I commended her for having a caring spirit. She had an excellent spirit, unlike many cashiers. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER ME.
On the other hand, I came home from K-mart recently and the shampoo bottle lid had opened and was all over my other things that I purchased. If the female cashier had cared and paid attention to what she was doing, she would have put the shampoo into it's own separate plastic bag, as thinking people do. There was a night-and-day difference between the attitudes of the two cashiers! I'm sure the K-mart cashier was sincere, but she wasn't thinking. CARING equates to THINKING!!! What type of person are you? Most people are so selfish, self-centered, and self-willed that they are completely blind to the needs of OTHERS. How about you friend? Do you have the caring mind of Christ Jesus, Who looked upon the things of OTHERS instead of only Himself. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER YOU.
We Have To Work At Caring About OTHERS, It Won't Just Happen
Caring about little things doesn't just happen, you have to work at it! There have been many times in my life where I failed to act on an opportunity to do something little but meaningful, simply because I wasn't thinking. That's good when you feel bad for missing an opportunity to do good, because it will help you to be more attentive to look for little things you can do to be a blessing to OTHERS in the Lord. Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us everyday. There are so many things that we can do to help OTHERS. I capitalize the word “OTHERS” often, so that as the porcupine preacher that I am, you'll get the point!!!
Jesus was a DO GOODER, and so should we be as His disciples! . . .
Acts 10:38, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
And let me make myself clear, I am not talking about pleasing people, because that is IMPOSSIBLE! I'm talking about pleasing God by living for OTHERS! I upset a lot of people online, taking an uncompromising stand for God. Whereas a pastor comforts the afflicted, the evangelist afflicts the comforted!!! Sometimes you'll got to become the villain in order to be the hero. That is, you're not what people want you to be, but you're what they need you to be. Someone needs to be the bad guy for God, saying the ugly truth that people need (but don't want) to hear! THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER ME. I care about YOU, whoever you may be, friend or enemy! I choose to see beyond people's faults and see their needs.
When I go to the Laundromat, I buy a big bottle of detergent. I use what I need, less than half, and then give the remaining amount back to the lady who manages the Laundromat, to give to poor people. Sometimes I put extra quarters in the dryer, just to be nice to the person coming after me. I was sitting under a tent to eat at a Japanese Festival yesterday, at a local public park. I noticed a man standing to eat next to his wife. There weren't enough seats. Someone next to me finished eating and left, so I carried the folding chair across the tent and gave it to the man, so he could sit down and eat. I want to be a caring person, so I look for little opportunities to do good to OTHERS. It doesn't just happen, you have to work at it. Overtime, it will become a good habit. THERE'S ONE THAT FOLLOWETH AFTER ME.
We're talking about CARING! I like to give old bread to the birds, and leftovers bones from a meal to a stray dog. I've even parted with some of my food at times, to share with a stray dog that's hungry. I care about God's creation. Of course, the life of animals aren't to be compared with the lives of people. Ecclesiastes 3:21, “Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?” Animals don't have eternal existence as man does, in Heaven or Hell. Still, God created animals for man to admire His handiwork, keep as pets, provide food and clothing, transportation, heating oil, and to perform work; such as, plowing the soil. Proverbs 12:10, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” You can tell a lot about a man's character by the way he treats (or mistreats) animals. It's ok to hunt them for provisions; but it's ungodly to intentionally torture and cause needless misery for an animal.
I am a Christian, and I desire to have an excellent spirit as God's child. Somebody needs to care, and it might as well be me. I am here, now, and if I see a need that I can fulfill, why not fulfill it? Yes, by God's grace that is what I will do.
In A War For God (Pastor Danny Castle)
love God who doesn't love sinners!”
(a quote by Dr. Jack Hyles classic MP3 sermon, “The Happiest Man” (happiest is the man who will not impute sin to others!)
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