How can we hope to build up a church if we are not willing to BE the church? How can we think we can give away something we have not yet demonstrated that we have? It does no good to talk about Christian ideals if our lives do not reflect our dedication to living by them daily. How can we say we “love” our brother if we walk past him suffering in the street but are too busy trying to get to our prayer group and so we refuse to actually stop to see how we can help? How many of us say that we are praying about the situation of the homeless in our inner cities yet when we are given the opportunity to actually go and pray with them, we opt out?
Any time we step out in a new endeavor or try something new, it is uncomfortable! Growth is uncomfortable because we are stepping into unknown territory. We are displacing complacency with action and regaining ground for the kingdom. There will always be opposition and doubt will try to retain some ground by discouraging us from pushing forward.
The good news is that we know doubt is not from God and as such it is not truth. Since we know that satan can only ever lie, as he is the father of all lies, then we know that the exact opposite is the truth. So the next time doubt tries to slither in, causing you to hesitate from going where Jesus is asking you to go, be confident that you “can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens” you!
Jesus was all about demonstrating what was possible with the kingdom wherever He went. The first disciples went far and wide, sharing the Good News and demonstrating the Love of the Father as taught by Jesus. Read all about it in the Book of Acts; notice how it is not the “Book of Prayers.”
The Bible continues on to say that “Faith without works is dead!” Our faith in The Lord should spur us on to a place where our hearts are overflowing with kingdom love and we just want to do helpful things for one another. The Book of James Chapter 2 spells it out for us:
What does it profit if someone says he has faith but does not have works? …if a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
The Bible encourages us to set aside our lives for others – to prefer others before ourselves. 1 John 3:16-18 continues on to explain that “by this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives … Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? … Let us not love in word or in tongue, but on deed and in truth.”
Jesus urges us to be known by our love. Instead of merely praying that The Lord would provide for those who have nothing, maybe the time has come for us to leave our comfort zones and share the Gift that Keeps Giving, the Everlasting Love of Jesus which we received so freely ourselves!