Monday, September 19, 2016

Pastor's Ponderings, September 19, 2016

Love For Real

This evening my wife and I and some of our church members enjoyed a dinner at a local restaurant and tonight I feel stuffed.  Earlier, I enjoyed our church service where I did not worry about armed men coming to arrest me.  I drove an SUV and was not concerned about gas.  I am living in a home where the local police protect me.  My pantry and refrigerator are full and my bills are paid.  I am retired and do not have to beg for handouts.

Yet I cannot help but think about those who are not as blessed.  Poverty Facts and Stats updated in 2013 shared the following horrific statistics. Half of the world’s population live on less than $2.50 per day.  According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.  Nearly one billion people entered the 21st century unable to sign their names or read a book.

We can shake our heads, mournfully think positive thoughts, and wish our desperate neighbors well or we can remember the Good Samaritan story in the Bible where one of the three gentlemen who helped the person in need was the neighbor (Luke 10:36, 37). What have you done, what are you doing, and what are you going to do to share from your resources to help the needy?  The Bible says if you see your brother or sister in need and don’t help them, how can God’s love be in you? (1 John 3:17)

It is very easy to love people over the world in theory but what happens when an aid organization asks for donations to help them? What if that needy person is just around the corner and asks for spare change?  What happens if it is that sex worker who we would rather not share the gospel because other people might get the wrong impression?  What if that single mom needs baby-sitting help to attend a doctor's appointment? These and others could use the help but may not want to humiliate themselves or possibly embarrass you by asking. 

God would ask us not to simply talk the talk, but to walk the walk (1 John 3:18).  This week, let us be on the lookout for love opportunities.  I believe if you seek for them, you will find them so that you can help others. Let your love be for real!

Luke 10:36, 37
New International Version (NIV)
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

1 John 3:17, 18
New International Version (NIV)
17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

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