As I was scrolling through FB, I noticed I was tagged in a post along with 98 other people. I generally don’t respond to most of them, and for a moment, ignored it. I then decided to return to the post to see what it was all about. As I looked closely, I saw a young boy no more than 5 or 6 years old. He was very poor. The person sharing the post described the young boys needs. Out of curiosity I looked at the comments. There were two to be exact. One said, “God Bless Him.” The other said, “Please Father, help us, help them.”
After reading the comments, I decided once again to move on. Then, all I could think about were the two comments. The first reminded me of the church today. We’re so busy with our lives, our money, that new car we want, or the new house we must have, not realizing that not everything is OK. In fact, statistics say that every night we go to sleep, 30K children die of hunger all over the world and we choose to not to see it. Why? Because it makes us uncomfortable. And we live in a society where our comfort is of utmost importance.
The second comment was more along the lines of someone, who, even if for a moment, saw that not everything is OK. We look at our lives, and then we see the starving children and say: Something is wrong. It is because of those comments that I decided to respond. This is what I said:
“So much need all over the world. Even in America. And yet, the church as a whole continues to pass by, thinking and praying it’s someone else’s job. Is it? Out of his own mouth Jesus spoke to His people just before he went to the Cross. He spoke of His Return and what he will be looking for on that day: “I was hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, in prison, (and) homeless…if you’ve done it to the least of these…you’ve done it to me. Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus then died and was raised to life. Following His resurrection he spent 40 days and nights teaching and performing miracles. When he ascended into heaven the early church began to prepare for his return. What did they do? Acts chapters 2 and 4 show us a church that was busy, DOING the words of Jesus. The very same words he spoke just before they hung him on a tree. They did not have Paul’s letters nor did they have the epistles. They were not written yet. All they had were the words of Jesus.
Jesus followers were preparing for his return by helping one another. Acts 4:34 tells us “there were no needy people among them”. Yes, Jesus is coming again. And it’s not for a church that sits back and says, “be warmed and filled” James chapter 2 is very clear in teaching that our Faith without good deeds is dead and he describes what those good deeds are. He preached Jesus words. Ephesians 2:8-10 says, For by grace are you saved through Faith, not by works lest any person should boast. That’s where most preachers stop. He’s not finished. Read on: But now we are “created in Christ Jesus to DO Good works, that God has before ordained that we should walk in them.” It’s because of Grace and Faith we are called to live a life full of Good works.
Seventeen years ago the Lord Jesus spoke to my husband and said, “Open your Bible to Matthew 25″ as he read, he came to verses 31-46. Jesus continued and said, “This is not a parable. This is not a story. This is going to happen one day.” As founding Pastors of Ponce Church along with our sister churches we are “active” feeding the hungry in Daytona Beach. We have a campground where we provide shelter for the homeless. We also have a home for girls aging out of the foster care system, Legacy Housing, to prevent youth homelessness and trafficking.
The church must wake from their slumber and begin to do what the early church did. Begin to remove lack from among his people. The Good Samaritan is a perfect example, and in this story the Priests and Levites (ministers) represent many of our leaders in the church today, and Jesus gives a perfect description of what the Believer is called to do. Not pass by.
When it comes to the poor, we are all called to do something. Give a sandwich to the hungry. Give a bottle of water for the thirsty. John the Baptist said, “those that have two coats, give to him that has none. Those that have extra food, do the same”.
There are over 210 verses throughout the Bible that teach the importance of giving to the poor.
On that day, Judgement Day, Jesus will gather ALL NATIONS, and separate the sheep from the goats. In His teaching, the sheep give to the poor and the goats “refuse” to do so. I pray the church is ready for that day. Our faith without doing good for others, is dead.
My reasoning? We need to see that God has called you and me to do our part. To not pass by. To not make excuses. To not say, I don’t have the money or the time. I ask you, do you have food in your pantry? Share. Do you have water? Share. Do you have extra clothing? Share. There are hungry, thirsty and those in need of clothing right in your surrounding cities and towns. There are even families that are homeless. I’ve seen it myself. Babies that need food and diapers.
Is the need overwhelming? Yes. Can we do something? Anything? Absolutely.
There are churches within your communities that have chosen to not pass by. Find those that are hungry and feed them. Look for those that are in need of clothing and give. There are many churches that have chosen to do something.
As a church we began serving the homeless community over 3 years ago. Withing those 3 years a few members from our church provided the funding to purchase a small piece of land to provided shelter for our homeless friends. And we provide housing for age-out foster girls – Legacy House. A church any size can begin to do something. Maybe God is speaking to your heart right now to “do something, anything.” Talk to your neighbors, your friends at church. If your pastors do not provide a ministry for the poor – by all means start one. You’ll be surprised at those that will get involved. Why? Because the word of God says that we are all, “created in Christ Jesus to DO good works”. Ephesians 2:8-10.
Remember, Jesus said, “If you’ve done it to the least of these… you’ve done it to Me.” Jesus. Matthew 25:31-46.