God Helps Those That Help Themselves

Rev. Jim McNair - 7/9/2023 10:00 AM

This week we will explore a phrase that is often attributed to the Bible: "God helps those who help themselves." While it may sound like a wise proverb, it can lead to a dangerous misconception about God's role in our lives. The idea that God acts within the worldly hierarchy or caste system is a folly that we need to dispel. Instead, we turn to the Gospel of Mark, where Jesus teaches his disciples about true greatness and service. In Mark 10:35-45, we see that Jesus rebukes his disciples for seeking positions of power and authority, and instead teaches them that true greatness lies in being a servant of all. Truly, we see that God shows no partiality. God has no favorites, and we are all of God's beloved. Let us embrace this truth and serve one another in humility and love.


  • First Reading: Psalm 121:1-8
  • Second Reading: Mark 10:35-45
View Order of Worship

This Week's Reading Plan

Day: Reading:
Monday The Reality of Grief: Psalm 34
Tuesday God's Comfort: Isaiah 41:1-10
Wednesday The Presence of God: Psalm 23
Thursday God's Love and Care: Romans 8:31-39
Friday Offering True Comfort: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Saturday Hope in the Midst of Grief: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Sunday The Vision of a New Heaven: Revelation 21:1-6

Reflections and Caring Conversations

Please use the prompts and prayers below to aid you in your devotions for this week.

  • Morning Prayer: Gracious God, as we begin this new day, we humbly come before you. Help us to set aside any misconceptions about self-reliance and recognize that our help comes from you alone. Teach us the true meaning of greatness, that we may serve others with love and humility, following the example of Jesus. Guide our steps, O Lord, and grant us the wisdom to discern your will in all that we do. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

  • Evening Prayer: Gracious God, as this day comes to a close, we gather in your presence. We thank you for the lessons we have learned about true greatness and the importance of serving others. Forgive us for the times we have fallen into the trap of self-reliance and failed to seek your help and guidance. We surrender ourselves to your care and commit to carrying each other's burdens, just as you have taught us. Grant us a restful night's sleep, knowing that you are our ever-watchful and caring helper. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

  • Reflection Question 1: What does it mean for you personally to be a servant of all, following Jesus' example?

  • Reflection Question 2: What steps can you take to rely more on God's help and guidance rather than solely relying on your own strength?

  • Reflection Question 3: Reflect on a time when you have experienced the help and support of others. How did it impact your perspective?