Tuesday, December 13, 2011

'Wake up and look around'

“Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” - John 4:35 (KJV)
I like the way the New Living Translation writes these words of Jesus, " But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest."

Jesus was telling His disciples, and He is telling us today, "Wake up, open your eyes; there are hurting and lost people all around you. Go tell them I love them and bring them into My kingdom."

Take a quick survey of what you are doing with your time. How much do you pray? Do you read God's Word? If so, how often? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? How much time do you spend watching TV? Do you tell anyone about Jesus? Do you show His love to others through your actions? Do you do more for yourself or for others? This Christmas season, are you focused more on gifts or on The Gift, who is the One we celebrate?

How did your survey turn out? This blog post isn't meant to condemn anyone, it's to help all of us do what Jesus tells us in John 4:35, "Wake up and look around." It's so important to heed His words. People are dying every day. Eternity is at stake. When we die we will either go to Heaven or Hell, both are real places. Heaven is eternity with God our Father. Hell is total separation from God our Father forever. We can make a difference in a person's eternity by showing the love of Jesus to them, and by sharing with them what Jesus has done in our lives.

Action speaks louder than words, though. I like the way St. Francis of Assisi said it, "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words."

Let's be sure we are doing that. Let's don't waste time by getting caught up in worldly activities. Now, events and hobbies aren't bad in and of themselves. The problem is when they dominate our thoughts and time.

I encourage you to read John 4 today. Read how Jesus broke down walls by talking with a Samaritan. See how he reached out to the woman and changed her eternal destination. See how He carried out His own "Great Commission" (Matthew 28:19-20) by going and reaching the people and then teaching them. Read how He teaches His disciples and explains things to them in John 4:34-38.

Jesus tells them that He receives His spiritual nourishment from doing the will of the Father; by finishing the work that the Father has given Him. We must do the same. Let's follow His example. God has given each of us a job to do. We receive joy and gain strength through doing it. So, let's do it, and spend our time "doing the will of God."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This is why we do what we do

This afternoon showed me why we do what we do with our Adopt-A-Block program at Love In Action.

On Sundays after church, we deliver bread to people throughout the neighborhood where we do our weekly Saturday Adopt-A-Block outreach. On our last stop, we visited Mr. Freddie. He's an elderly man missing one of his feet. He spends most of his time on the couch or in his wheel chair.

We first met him on Thanksgiving Day as volunteers delivered dinner throughout the neighborhood. The next two weeks we have gone back to clean up and do repairs on his house and take him more food.

Today when Martha, Shaun and I arrived, he just smiled at us, and then started crying. He said, "Y'all are so good to me. The Lord is so good. Everything y'all been doing for me ... I can't even talk about it without crying. It makes me feel so good."

Praise God! I told him that's Jesus showing His love for him and smiling upon him. Mr. Freddie said, "God is good isn't He."

He looked at Shaun and talked about Thanksgiving Day as Shaun was one of the volunteers who brought dinner to Mr. Freddie. A woman in the neighborhood told us about him and encouraged us to take him dinner. Mr. Freddie said he sure was glad she did that.

He told us that in all of the years he has lived at his house in downtown Dothan, nobody has ever given him anything. He said they have only taken from him.

Mr. Freddie is a precious man. It is so good to see him smile and talk about the goodness of God.

I asked him if he had ever asked Jesus into his heart to be his Lord and Savior. He said yes, he did years ago. Then I asked if we could pray before we left, and he said yes, and then he prayed. It was such a wonderful prayer. He thanked God for everything. He cried tears of joy as he prayed.

We left praising God. Such an awesome display of God's love and someone being so thankful for it.

Please keep our Adopt-A-Block outreach and all of our ministries lifted up in your prayers. God is doing an amazing work. We have recently seen seven people make decisions for Jesus. Praise God! Lives are being changed by the love and power of God. It is wonderful to see and humbling to be part of it.

Thank you for your prayers, financial support, and volunteering. Together, we are making a difference for the glory of God.