Many of God’s people are moved with compassion for many causes. Some are led by God to reach as many people as they can with The Gospel of Jesus Christ and rightfully so. Because of God’s Great Love for humanity, and because we are made in the Image of God; in His exact likeness, we too are called to Love.
John, says it this way in 1 John 3:18, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”
Isn’t that what God did for us? He did not just “say” He loves us, He showed it by sending His One and only Son, Jesus, who was a sinless man that took upon Himself the sins of all mankind.
Throughout the Word of God, we are instructed in Many ways to Love, and that Love is to be accompanied with action.
In fact, James 1:27 says it this way, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress…” In essence, God is saying, Go and do something; help them. Is that not what He did for us?
Jesus teaches this in the familiar story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37,
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”
This story is a perfect description of Jesus’ commandment, Love one another AS I have Loved you.
Where did Jesus get this from? Deuteronomy 6:5, and teaches it in Matthew 22:37-39,
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Some may say, Yes, but we are no longer under the Law, this is true, but we are to continually Keep (Obey) the Royal Law: Love. See James chapter 2.
With this said, I am compelled to share how as a family and as a church (Ponce Church, and Ormond Church), we endeavor to Obey Jesus and the Royal Law of Love: Jesus says in Matthew 25:31-46 that on the day of His Return, He will recognize His followers, not by our words, but by our actions: Love:
1 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
As a family we have been faithful over the years to teach and demonstrate this Love after Jesus spoke to my husband Pastor Rick Tidwell, and said, “This is going to happen one day. This is Not a parable, this is not a story.” Many do not believe we will stand before the Judgement seat of Christ. And yet, Peter is speaking to Believers in 1 Peter 4:17, 7 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
The Apostle Paul echo’s this same Truth, in 2 Corinthians 5:9-11, 9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences.
Did they not receive this insight, this Truth from Jesus Himself? Before Jesus went to the Cross He spoke of His Return in Matthew 25:31-46, and what He will be looking for. And in the book of Acts we see the body of Christ busy, as a result of God’s grace, caring for one another; giving to those in need. We are saved by Grace, but upon receiving His Grace by Faith we are required to Do what God himself says we were “Created in Christ Jesus” to do, Ephesians 2:8-10.
Jesus spoke the Truth. God reminds us to Hear (and Do) what He says in Matthew 17:5, “While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”
Many of us carry a torch for numerous causes, including speaking up for unborn children, and many other commendable causes. We should be led, in an attitude of Love for All humanity, and be careful to not judge others. We have received the Mercy of God (For All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, Romans 3:23) and are to show mercy to all, and if we do not show mercy we will not receive mercy. (See unforgiving debtor in Matthew 18.)
As I think about all of those who rally for such causes, and again, I am in complete agreement, yet we must remember that we sin every day: when we “pass by” the hungry, when we allow Women such as my friend Brenda, a homeless woman, who is 71 years old, continue to sleep in the bushes of our city! She and over 200 others like her, yes, over 200 Women are Homeless in the Daytona Beach area alone. There are over 565 Thousand homeless on any given night. Statistics say 50% of all adult homeless have been in the foster care system at one time or another.
As a family, we have a home for age out foster girls and soon a ranch for boys, we and many who support this cause are obeying the Words of Jesus, protecting them from youth homelessness and trafficking, and thank God for it!
But what about Brenda? Is she not just as precious to God as the little babies and the orphan? Brenda is the widow. According to Jesus Words, and the Command of God to Love, she too and hundreds of thousands like her (40% of all adult homeless are Women) deserve a bed, bath, and a meal. Brenda deserves our oil and wine, our wealth, Love and Care; Brenda deserves mercy.
Think about that for a moment.
So what are we doing about the Brenda’s of our city? To date, we have raised 10K for a Home, Tabitha’s House, for one year to provide Love and Care. We are waiting for that Good Samaritan, who is willing to provide the Inn. Just as the Good Samaritan, we have the resources necessary to take that next step. Who will do it? Who will Obey Jesus and show mercy, and open the doors of their rental property? Or better yet, purchase a Home so we can continue this Good Work; to provide a home for these women to sleep in safety, have a warm shower, and a meal, every day.
We’re ready. They will not be left to themselves, but will be under the Love and Care of a House Mother, just as the girls at Legacy House.
Is it you? Will you do what is in your Heart to do?
“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12