“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “ Matthew 25:37-40 NIV
Aaahhh Sunday. A beautiful time of worship, fellowship, receiving God’s word and the Body of Christ in His House… and then straight back out into messy parking lots, traffic, yard work, grocery stores, and screams of the world and those around us for attention and demands.
Is church something you do on Sunday to “check the box” for your religious duty for the week? Do you forget what the sermon was about ten minutes into traffic and a mental frenzy of preparing for the work week? Or maybe, like me, you don’t put that encouraging Christian bumper sticker on the car because you’re afraid you would disgrace Christians everywhere by your absent-minded driving?!
Whatever “church” currently means to you, I challenge you to take it beyond the four walls. Church is an essential part of the Christian walk. This blog is not debating that fact. But if God is only one hour of our week, and then forgotten, we are not truly walking in faith.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.“ –James 2:14-17 NIV
As we live our daily lives, we should be living the truth of the gospel. We should be walking out the message we receive on Sunday. People should know we love Jesus by how we treat each other and respond to situations. We should be walking in the fruit of the spirit. We should be demonstrating forgiveness, selflessness, humility, and generosity. We should be thinking of others more highly than ourselves. We should be offering our talents and treasure to those less fortunate.
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” -James 1:22 NIV
We are called to serve the homeless, the orphan, the needy, and the widow. Do these works equal Salvation? NO. However, if God is truly Lord of your life, you will be so overjoyed and overflowing with His love that you will want to share that with others! By your act of love, the people you touch will then most likely be moved to “pay it forward,” creating a ripple effect of kindness in your city, like a stone of love, thrown into a pond!
Our challenge for you this week is to take church beyond the walls. Serve your city. I’m certain you won’t have to look far to find someone in need. Whatever your gift is: baking a treat, cooking a meal, offering groceries, donating clothes, covering a financial burden, giving a hug or word of encouragement, lending a helping hand, hosting a small group, teaching someone a skill you have perfected, babysitting, walking a dog, doing yard work, offering a listening ear, driving someone to work, buying a cup of coffee or a gallon of gas, volunteering at a homeless shelter, taking a Bible to someone in prison… we all have a different gifting and now is the time to discover what yours is. You have a passion that God has placed inside of you. Perhaps you are already serving at church: that’s fantastic! Now let’s go reach the rest of the world and spread the love of Jesus!
Thank you for doing your part. Together we can make a huge impact for The Kingdom of God!
Here’s to your health!