August 6, 2018
In today’s blog I want to share something with you from Bob Goff’s book called “Everybody Always.” Someone suggested I share this in my blog so here goes.
Bob talks about how we respond to those who are in need. We might call them the “down and out” or the homeless or those in jail cells. We often fail to recognize them as people Jesus has placed in our path. One group will be shocked when they realize what Jesus meant when He said, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)
“The second group will be just as surprised by what they hear Jesus say. This group didn't intend to be mean or uncaring. They are a lot like you and me in this way. I'm sure they would have been more than willing to help Jesus if He'd asked them, but when the hungry or thirsty or sick or strange people came along, or when people without clothes came by, they didn't know what to do, so they didn't do anything.
It wasn't that they disagreed with Jesus or folded their arms and refused to help. Their mistake was simple. In fact, it's the one I make almost every day; they just didn't recognize these people were actually Jesus. These people didn't dress like Him or talk like Him or act like Him. In fact, the opposite was true. They lived in a way and did things that were quite opposite of how Jesus lived. Some of the things they did landed them in jail or left them in perilous positions. Jesus knew this, and He said if we wanted to be with Him, we'd stop playing it safe and go talk to them instead of talking about them.
I've lived most of my life as a second-group guy. I have simply been too busy and too good at keeping my distance from people I don't understand to know what they really needed. Sure, I noticed them, but I just wasn't close enough to recognize it wasn't just hurting, lonely people I was passing by—it was Jesus I was avoiding. Sadly, sometimes I only pretend to care for people who are hurting. The way I know this is simple—I don't do anything to help them. I'll say I am too busy to help someone in need when it isn't time I lack; it’s compassion. In short, I settle for merely hoping rather than actually helping.”
Can you identify with Bob? Is he talking about you too? I wonder how much true compassion we have. Are we willing to step out and actually do something for those in the community around us? Bob goes on to say, “People who want a reason to delay often wait for plans. People who are becoming love don’t. It’s almost as if Jesus knew we’d invent excuses under the guise of waiting for His ‘plan,’ so He made it simple for us. He said His plan for all of us was to love Him and then find people who are hungry or thirsty or who feel like strangers or are sick or don’t have clothes or are in prison or creep us out or are our enemies and go love them just like they were Him.”
That’s a pretty big task right? Being a believer means we are on a mission. That mission is to love other people just like they were Jesus. Are you on your mission today? Or are you waiting for more direction. You don’t need it. Just go love other people!!
Come join us this Sunday night for our annual Dessert Fellowship at the Pastor’s Home!! We will start at 5:00 PM, August 12th. Bring your favorite dessert or just show up for something sweet and delicious!!
I want to wish my daughter-in-law, daughter #4, mother of two of my grandsons, Amanda Hixon, a very Happy Birthday today!! We are thankful she is a part of our big family!!
I am ON MISSION Today! Are You?
P.S. This week’s memory verse is Matthew 22:37-38 (NIV) “Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” I hope you are all in on our Memory Verse Challenge!!
David Hixon, D.Min.