Recently Jerry and I switched churches, and there are several different things pointing to me being right where I am suppose to be. I have had more spiritual growth in the past 6th months than the previous 2 years. The pastors a North Coast Chruch constantly are causing me to question where I am at, and whether or not I am taking the action God requests from me.
A couple of weeks ago our pastor was talking about when someone is telling us about things that are going on in their lives and our reaction is to say "I'll prayer for you". I immediately thought he was going to start telling us how we need to follow through on the promises and actually pray for people, but those were not the words that followed!
Instead, he continues on to say "How many times have you said how can I help you?" WOW! I don't think I have ever uterred those words after someone's story. What if I was suppose to be God's answer to their prayer and instead I just let that opportunity pass by? Now, instead of helping someone out in God's intended time I prevented them from relief.
So, of course this got me to thinking, (and I warn ahead of time that you may not agree with what I have to say. That is fine and I appreciate our difference on this topic!) what if the church* stepped it up more often and reached out to our brothers and sisters in Christ? Would there be less poverty? Would more children be fed each night? Would more marriages survive if we took the time to help someone out?
Our course this leads to more thoughts, would the world see more of Christ and less of our sinful nature if we were the rescue people were looking for instead of the government? What if the church* was the welfare and unemployment people were looking for?
Don't get me wrong, I know prayer is a very powerful tool and one that God calls us to use regularly! (Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2; James 5:13) But he also calls us to take care of the sick, poor, children and widowed (Romans 12:13;Matthew 25: 34-46; James 1:27). When was the last time you did that? I know for myself it has been a very long time. What if all it took was arranging people to bring meals over to someone's house? Or drive them to a doctor's appointment? What if it was watching someone's child so they could have that long awaited date night with their spouse? What if it was being a friend to someone who didn't have one?
When God calls us to take care of those around us, I don't think he is asking us to put our lives in jeporady or neglect our bills. Instead I think he asks us to make that small sacrifice to help your brother or sister. Currently, I hide behind the excuse that I don't have money to give, but I certainly can give my time. This whole topic has reminded me that some times the thing that saves a soul is not the words being preached, but the actions showing love.
Just think about what would the world be like if we put away our selfish desires aside once a week, on average, to help others.
* Church in this post referrs to the people of the church, not the building or establishment that is the church(more on this definition in another post ;-)).