In my free time, I love coming to the city (Asheville, NC) and ministering to the homeless in crisis. Today, a homeless friend I had just ministered to invited me to a local church that ministers to the homeless in this city. They would be feeding the homeless and having a service afterwards.
Their leader, Brian, invited me to play the piano to minister before, during and after the service. It was so exciting and so fulfilling!
Quite unexpectedly, a television camera crew arrived to do a special report on the homeless in this city, and asked if they could film me as I played the piano for the people. They then told me it would be aired in a few days on local television.
The leader of this wonderful program through a local city church, Brian, is very precious and has a heart after God, full of compassion. The homeless people attending were precious as well. The food prepared by the church was wonderful, and the service was blessed as well.
What are we even in the world today for, if not to touch the lives of those around us, often broken, sick and hurting? We as Christians are deceiving ourselves, if we think we can represent Christ to a lost and dying world, IF we fail in the most basic commandment: LOVE.
God is not impressed with our costly churches. Nor is He impressed with our expensive clothes we wear to church. Instead, God looks at the HEART.
Do we as Christians truly exemplify the love of God to a perishing world around us? Do we REALLY care that people are dying and perishing eternally, because we the Church in the world have failed to be that witness to bring that lost soul to Jesus Christ? Do we REALLY care? Do we REALLY love as He commanded us to?
If you find your heart is cold within, has no genuine desire to reach out to the lost and the hurting, is not moved to pray for this perishing world, then PRAY. PRAY for God's Holy Spirit to fill you within, and to pour out the fruits of His Holy Spirit, including LOVE and COMPASSION. And then PURPOSE TO ACT!
True Biblical LOVE is not primarily a feeling. Rather, Biblical LOVE is obedience to God and His commandments, and to His Son Jesus Christ. "If a man love Me, he will KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS," declared Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ said, "A NEW commandment I give unto you, that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER as I have loved you." Admittedly, this is a "tough act to follow!" But it is nevertheless HIS commandment to us. And the Bible teaches us that "Faith works by LOVE."
Don't tell the lost that you are "a Christian" and that "Jesus loves them" without becoming willing to EXEMPLIFY THAT VERY LOVE with your actions that go BEYOND words only. "Faith without works is dead." In the Epistle of James, we are exhorted to love NOT in word only, but in DEED as well. They can only see the love of God through US.
In just one week, God has enabled me to bless the homeless He has led me to, with food, blankets, clothing, compassion and prayer and counseling, all from my own personal possessions and at my own cost. This has become my tithe to God this week. What joy has filled my heart through this work.
All I had to do was take the time to pray and ask God to equip me to minister to their needs, and to lead me to those He wanted me to reach out to. And He then miraculously answered my prayers, and made miracles happen.
You can do this very same thing in your region and city. It is precisely BECAUSE so many Christians in America are NOT willing to personally make a difference in their region, that our nation is in the precarious spiritual state it is sadly in today. We are the only vessels God can use to influence the world around us. If WE as Christ's representatives on the earth fail, there is no one else!
Take your accountability before God seriously, and MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.