I recently was looking through a book for ideas on relational evangelism/servant evangelism. I came across this address which made me think, do I care like I should? Let me share it with you:
She’s only a little more than middle aged. Her husband died suddenly after he had a stroke. She couldn’t meet the house payments and had to move to a small place. The apartment said ‘no pets’-so her little dog had to go. Because the dog was gone, she was even more lonely. Because she was lonely, depression set in. Because she was depressed, wise decisions were difficult to make. Because she made poor decisions, her adult son had access to her bank account, spending what little she had left. Then he disappeared, leaving her with the bills.
Or this realistic thought:
She’s 89 and lives alone. Disease has left her in a constant state of pain. Her vision is fading fast-she can hardly see the pictures in the album anymore. She sits all day with no one to talk to. The neighbors rarely come by. She has a daughter with three kids four hours away. ‘It’s hard to keep in touch,; she says. ‘Life is empty.’
Then He will say to those on His right, ‘You are God’s Children because you are so much like Him. Come! It’s time for you to receive your inheritance. You have cared about others, which shows that you care about me. When others were thirsty, you gave them water. When they were hungry, you gave them food, and when they were without a place to live, you took them in. When they had nothing suitable to wear, you gave them clothes. When they were sick, you visited and comforted them, and when they were in jail, you took them in.’
Then the righteous will say, ‘Lord, we never realized that when we fed the hungry we were feeding you, or that when we gave thirsty people a drink, we were giving it to you…’
Then He answered and said, ‘I know you didn’t realize this because a change took place in your life, and kindness and compassion became part of your nature. What you did by caring for these thought of as insignificant was just as if you had done it for me.’ (adapted from Matthew 25:34-46)
Christianity is an action word. The church of Jesus Christ was never meant to be a vat to be filled, we are intended to be pitcher to pour out. That doesn’t just mean in our Sunday morning ministry, which is certainly important, but in our actual lives. When our feet hit the ground outside of the church walls, are they carrying us about our business, or are they being used to carry us about accomplishing God’s agenda? I think of James 3:26 which says:
As a person’s body is useless without breath, so our statements of faith are meaningless without action. (Clear Word)
I’m going to say something that some will find strong, but it is true: You can talk all you want about being a Christian and what it means. But until your life produces some fruit you haven’t changed. Fruit is a life touched, a heart encouraged, a soul soothed. It can be as drastic as someone praying the prayer of salvation or as simple as someone realizing that they are cared about after a long, hard day. Christianity should not be a term we throw about, is should be tangible. Christianity should change whatever it touches, because the Christ at the center of it changes whatever He touches.
Just a thought…