Today’s world can seem like a cold-hearted, depressing place. And that is in the cultured, civilized, ‘evolved’, modern nations. People have food, clothing and shelter and many other luxuries, but there is often a lack of love, human connection , and compassion for one’s fellow man. But in many non-Westernized countries the world is a place of hunger, poverty , violence, child abuse and neglect and disasters caused by weather and crop failure and corrupt governments.
Today’s sermon at my church was on Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus warns that people will be separated like sheep and goats on the day of judgment and the ones found lacking proof of belonging to Him would go away into eternal punishment. What proof of salvation did he give? He described situations where people where in need of help and those who he called sheep had been willing to give the help, but the goats did not. In other words, if someone has the means and closes their heart to those in need, he is probably not saved at all , even if he claims to be. This passage is not saying we earn our way into God’s family by doing good deeds. It is saying that if we are born again believers, we will show evidence that includes helping others because we have the love of God inside us. There are so many different ways we can help. Even just a kind word or a donation to a homeless shelter or food to the food bank is helping! Let the world see God’s love through you.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to recommend Compassion International if you are looking for a way to help. This organization has a good reputation for wisely spending the money donated and making a real difference in people’s lives. I first heard about it when I attended a summer youth camp with my church. A young man gave his testimony of how his life’s path had been totally altered by the help of his sponsor. God has made it possible for us to sponsor a child since 2011, and for that I am thankful. Pray about it. If you can find it in your heart and your budget, I hope you will consider this ministry. There are many, many other good ministries if this one is not for you. Many people like to volunteer at their local food bank, support missionaries, give to homeless shelters, or their own church’s special ministries.
We love God, and we demonstrate our love and live out our faith by extending care to others — in Jesus’ name — irrespective of caste, creed, class or religion. This way of living is modeled and shared with the beneficiaries of our programs in age-appropriate, culturally relevant ways without coercion, manipulation or forced compliance. All the checkups for physical care, the safe environments for play and interaction, the regular mentoring and tutoring…all our work is done in accord with the teaching of Jesus to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40, NIV). https://www.compassion.com/about/what-makes-us-distinct.htm
Mercy Project is another one that is close to my heart. It was started by Chris Field, runner from Texas, a true grass-roots ministry born from compassion for the children he saw ‘working’ in the fishing industry in Ghana. He came back and determined to find a way to rescue children from this slave labor. They use race fees as part of their funding, but they also need donations. And they have a child sponsorship program for the ones that have been rescued. https://mercyproject.net/child-sponsorship
God bless you and happy Sunday!