In this second post it's a bit different from the last one this morning. Are you committed to Jesus or are you really living for yourself? Do you become the Good Samaritan or are you the Priest and Levite?
You read through the letters to the Churches that Paul wrote, the word "commitment" stands out rather glaringly. You read of the selfless acts of many. You read of their love for one another that lead them to show Christ in that way.
Regardless of the size of their respective Church, they gave of themselves, their time, energy and money to whatever the Lord had in need of elsewhere. So much so that it really moved Paul in his writing to them. Always giving thanks to God for them and their hearts before God.
Galatians 6:2 NASB "Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ."
As painfully blunt as I am being directed to write, what's happened to the Churches of today in this respect?
Would a letter written by Paul or Peter or James result in a commendation for their caring for those in the body of Christ or a stern rebuke as we read in Malachi?
When a believer shares their burden does the body turn away or is it engaging in fulfilling what the Church is to be?
When people ask for help, what happens?
When people ask for prayer, what becomes of it?
Do those in the body of Christ today become the hands and feet of Jesus to the Brethren or do they sit on them because it might be difficult or maybe bring a temporary hardship? It just doesn't fit in with their own plans?
Would the letters written to the Churches today be like what Paul wrote to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians? Or would they be like some of the letters Jesus told John to write to in Revelation?
Jesus said that those in the body should not be lukewarm. He will spit them out.
You are either hot or cold in regards to your walk with Jesus, in regards to your faith, in regards to your commitment to God.
Just how much concern for those claiming to be Christians do each of us have for others in the body of Christ? As one put it that I remember hearing, anyone can be concerned. But it takes faith to meet people where their need is.
I have only an observation to share on this. In much of the 20 plus years we have spent living where we have. Most of those Churches we have attended would likely receive a stern rebuke from Jesus. A great many who have been greatly blessed by God just won't or wouldn't stoop to helping Brothers and Sisters in Christ because they might have to make a sacrifice.
I am going to borrow a post from a friend in what you read now...just think about its message:
The Missing Ingredient
By Jim Cymbala
One year, we had an Easter outreach. We had three services, and lines were around the building; it was a long day. Afterward, I’m sitting on the edge of the platform by the pulpit, and people are being ministered to at the altar. I look up, and I see this dude with his cap in his hands, looking bad. He looked 50; he was actually 32. He gives me a sheepish look like ‘Can I get close to you?’
Now at that time, in that building, we had everyone coming in off the streets to mooch money. People were coming in with incredible scams they were running, and they would go to church members and collect ‘subway fare’ from 25 different people.
I thought to myself, “Man, this is a downer, but maybe he wants lunch. I’ll give him some money.”
This guy started walking up to me, and then the smell hit me. Feces, urine, sweat, hot street — stir gently for about an hour. It was the worst smell I ever smelled, and I worked on a dairy farm during the summer as a kid. He told me he was an alcoholic, did drugs too, slept in his truck the night before. He didn’t dare go to a shelter because people got killed in there.
So I pulled out my wallet. He pushed my hand down, and I’ll never forget what he said. “I don’t want your money. I’m going to die out there. I want this Jesus you were talking about.”
I raised my hands and wept like a child, praying, “Jesus, forgive me.” He felt what the Spirit was doing, and he started weeping too and threw his arms around me. We cried together, him for his sins and me for my sins. He went to detox for a few days and then spent Thanksgiving and Christmas at the table with my family. He joined the prayer group; he married a beautiful woman, and a couple years later, he got ordained into the ministry.
This is what Paul meant when he wrote, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing…. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Corinthians 13:1-2,7, ESV).
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