Thursday, July 14, 2016

There is still Good News in this world

Team LIA volunteer Gia Hughes gives a child
a big hug during a recent outreach to local low-rent
hotels in Dothan, Ala.
Every day the headlines and news channels are filled with news about violence, hatred, and corruption. A person can easily become depressed and discouraged keeping up with the news. It can leave one wondering, is there any good news anywhere in the world?

The answer is yes. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is still the Good News, and it's still being spread throughout communities in the U.S. and the world through Love In Action.

Those who serve with LIA do so beautifully. In a world that's seemingly growing more and more violent and filled with hate, Team LIA allows the love of Jesus to flow through them. Does it make a difference? You betcha.

I have seen some of the hardest, meanest people come to Jesus because of showing His love to them. We've been cussed and talked down about, but instead of hating and rejecting them, we decided to keep loving them. Sometimes it's not easy, but it's a choice. Our choice. Do we reject people or do we reject the real enemy, which is Satan.

God tells us in Ephesians 6:12, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."

In other words, it's not the person we are at odds with. It's Satan. If we all remember that, it's easier to show love to people, even those who hate us. That's the way Jesus tells us to act. (Matthew 5:43-45)

LIA has been a ministry for more than 16 years, and I can look back to the first days and see where showing people God's love has made a difference in their lives.

Martha and I were in Barnes & Noble in Dothan, Ala., one night and this young black man yelled my name and ran toward me. I couldn't tell who he was, but there was joy in his voice. He ran up and gave me a huge hug, and then hugged Martha. Then I recognized him. When we first met him, he lived in a rough and impoverished neighborhood in Enterprise, Ala.

We did an Adopt-A-Block outreach in his neighborhood every Saturday, and LIA volunteer Justin Swasey and I would pick him up as well as many other children and adults in an old church van every Sunday.

He told Martha and me that night how much what we did meant to him back then and helped shape his life. He had since graduated high school and was joining the military. The love of Jesus changed his life and given him hope for a better tomorrow despite his surroundings as a child.

The photo above with this blog entry shows one of our wonderful Team LIA members, Gia Hughes, hugging a child during a recent LIA outreach to local low-rent hotels. This photo reflects the epitome of God's love and the ministry of LIA ... always showing forth the love of Jesus. Just look at the photo. Can't you see and feel the love of Jesus emanating through Gia as she embraces this child?

In today's world where racial tensions are ever increasing, this is the kind of news we need to see and read. Color doesn't matter in the family of God for He has created us all equal and loves us all the same, no matter our skin color, economic bracket or what neighborhood or country we live in. We are all His children, therefore, we must all love one another just as our Heavenly Father loves us.

We thank and praise God for all of our awesome volunteers like Gia. We thank everyone for serving so beautifully, allowing the love of Jesus to flow through them into the lives of others in this hurting world. All glory and honor to Jesus.

We encourage Team LIA to continue serving Jesus like this. We encourage those who serve through their churches and other organizations to keep serving. We encourage Christians who are not serving to begin. We encourage all Christians to make serving a lifestyle, not just an event or planned outreach with a group. There's nothing like it.

This world needs the love of Jesus more than ever, and if we don't show them, nobody will.

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