Tuesday, May 19, 2015

More Than Just Money

Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.  Proverbs 28:27

If Christ is in us, we are possessed by the One who brings good news to the poor, release to the captive, sight to the blind, liberty to the oppressed, fellowship with the sinner, touch for the untouchable, and welcome to the stranger. Active concern for the hungry and homeless validates the reality of God in our lives. Men will glorify our Father in heaven not because of what we say only, but because our lights are shining and they have seen our good deeds: In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16.
Concern for the hungry causes two responses in us:
  • Concern for the hungry helps us feel the spiritual lostness of men. For if our hearts break for their temporal physical suffering, will not our theology drive us to see the inconsistency of not being broken-hearted because of their spiritual hopelessness.
  • Concern for the hungry creates witness opportunities. If Christian ethics means for us primarily avoiding bad behavior and staying home in our comfortable houses, we will meet very few non-Christians, and when we do, our words of witness will be weak because they are backed up with no labor of love. But if our love of Christ and his for us drives us into action to meet the needs of refugees and the world's hungry, then we will cross paths with unbelievers and our witness will have great power because it will be certified by active love. So never play off evangelism against other biblically mandated acts of love, namely, feeding the poor and doing good to all - Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.  Galatians 6:10 (NIV)
What to Do?
  • Educate yourself – about a specific problem and what other Christians are doing.  Give generously to the Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger. Your gifts bear witness to Christ’s love and make an enormous, positive difference in the lives of hungry people in Texas and across the globe.
  • Change some of our own eating habits or at least be more mindful.
  • Engage in regular prayer and fasting. - Prayer is enlivened and deepened by fasting. Fasting unites us to God in the dependence of hunger, and it unites us to the hungry in the fellowship of hunger. Our love and our prayers are more fervent and effectual.
  • Some of You Should Just Go: Any inclination you have, young or old, to cut loose and fly into an adventure with God should be pursued. There are opportunities for all kinds of professions as well as the traditional missionary. The need is for people passionately eager to magnify Christ through sacrificial loving service.
The Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger supports dozens of specific ministries around the world. These ministries provide food and temporary relief for people in need and address holistically the systemic causes of hunger and poverty through food production and income development. Initiatives of the Offering address rural and urban poverty, border ministries, disaster relief, and Christian Women’s and Men’s Job Corps.  We will be taking a special offering on May 31st for the Texas Baptist World Hunger Offering.  Take the next week to pray about/over your gift.

Scripture to Claim:
And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” Luke 3:11

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