The streets were wet from the rain and as we drove by she was pushing a stroller, not with a baby in tow but a large bag that my guess was filled with her belongings. This just isn’t right, everyone deserves a Bed, Bath, and a Meal. We do what we can to help the poor and the homeless, but not until recently have I had a sincere longing to see that they get shelter, like you and me. I will see it come to pass. You may be thinking “How do you know for sure?” The scriptures say that God will give us the desires of our heart. No longer do I need to apply this verse for myself, but for the needs of others because I and my family have a Bed, Bath and a Meal. Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you took me in…”
Our desire is for a motel with lots of rooms providing a Bed, Bath and a Meal.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “They’re just lazy, they need to get a job!” I wish it were that easy, and if it were that easy, I guarantee you most of them would not be homeless. How do I know? We have been feeding the homeless and families in need for over a year and have come to know many of our friends personally. Many have emotional issues and addictions to help them to cope being on the street. Even if they did enter an establishment to fill out an application, they would most likely not get the job. Other’s say, “Well, they’re drunk!” That may be true with some of them, but we live in a beachside town that have a number of waterfront bars and especially on the weekends they are filled with people getting drunk. The only difference is they have all the comforts that this world has to offer. A friend of mine once said that she and her friends were out on the town and she saw some homeless and decided to buy them a pizza and put a five dollar bill in the box. Her friends said, “They’re just going to by booze with that money!” Her reply, “What do you think we’re going to do!”.
Mercy: The word of God says that if we show mercy, we will in turn receive mercy, and if we judge, we too will be judged. Jesus shared a great story and you may have heard of it, The Good Samaritan. This gives us perfect example of how we are to love and be merciful:
25 One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?”
27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”[a]
28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!”
29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Parable of the Good Samaritan
30 Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road.
31 “By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32 A Temple assistant[b] walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side.
33 “Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34 Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. 35 The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,[c] telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’
36 “Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
37 The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” Luke 10:25-37.
Whether we believe in God and His Son Jesus, we will all stand before him one day and Jesus says on the day he will separate the sheep from the goats and he will ask us if we loved the way he said to love, not with words, but with action. Jesus spoke to my husband years ago and had him open his Bible to Mathew chapter 25 verses 31-46 and said, “…this is going to happen one day…”:
31 “But when the Son of Man[d] comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations[e] will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[f] you were doing it to me!’
41 “Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.[g]42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’
45 “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’
46 “And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous will go into eternal life.” Mathew 25:31-46.
There are many other verses in the Bible that teach us the importance of Love in Action and that our “Faith” is not really faith unless it is accompanied by doing good for others, showing mercy on the poor, see James chapter 2.
Yes, we’re saved by Grace, but if you look at the entire context in Ephesians 2:8-10 you’ll see that once we receive God’s Grace, we are then “…created in Christ Jesus to DO good works.” Simply put, the “good” we do for others is the “fruit” of our faith, without it, our faith is dead.
If you would like to learn more, I encourage you get out our book, “The Main Thing” by Rick Tidwell. If you visit Ponce Church you can get a complimentary copy, or you can order your copy today at Amazon.com. (Kindle or Paperback)
If you would like to get involved in helping to provide housing for age-out foster girls or the homeless here in the Daytona area, please visit Restore Hope Daytona for more information, thank you. Also, our son and daughter-in-law recently founded Ormond Church. Both Ponce Church and Ormond Church share the same vision in helping those in need.
We will see our vision come to pass to the Glory of God!
Update: January 6,2016 – Daytona Beach City Hall, City Council Meeting re: Homeless Shelter. “Liberty & Justice for All”