That’s Not True!

One of the most influential passages in all of scripture upon my life and faith is in Matthew 25. This is the passage where Jesus refers to the “least of these”.

On a regular basis (daily almost), we have needy people stopping by our church asking for help. I thank God for these encounters. I am excited when people stop by for anything.

Let me tell you a story that I hope will challenge you.

This week two women stopped by asking for assistance.  One stayed in the car, the other sat in the office waiting for me to come speak to her. She waited 10 minutes or so until I was available.  We talked for about 10 minutes concerning her needs. She assured me they were not lying. She assured me they had never ever had to ask for help before.  She assured me that they would not need much help in the future…they were only needing it now. She also went on to assure me that they would be here for our Wed. evening service.

I made sure I was accurately understanding their position and needs. The local ministries had provided them with a weeks worth of food. We put them in touch with a local group that would pay their LG&E (electric) bill this month. I made sure they had food for that day. I asked her come back the next day and I would have them some more food. (She came and we gave her more food.)

Now, here is the part that caused me to write. During our very pleasant and cordial conversation, kinda in the middle of it, she said that “these days no one helps anymore.” She said they have been around several places and asked several people. “But no one just likes to help people anymore.”

I was offended. Not because I help people. Not because my church helps people. I was offended because Thats Not True. I was offended because her comment directly opposes Jesus.

Jesus helps people.   When she said that, I responded by saying “Thats not true.”  I went on to tell her that Jesus helps people and that followers of Jesus help people.

I told her that I was so sorry that her experience has led her to think that no one helps, but I comforted her with the life changing truth that Jesus helps people and so do His followers. Because of grace and Jesus in us at FBCF, we want to help people. We want to help people so badly that no one would dare say that no one helps.  My heart is that our world and our town (Fairdale) would be in awe of our desire to be like Jesus and help people.

Matthew 9:35 “And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.”

Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

We have no idea (Haiti)

Most of us, maybe all, have no idea what it is like to live poor and needy and without hope.  Also, many of us need to learn to care and feel and act for those who do know what its like to live poor and needy and without hope.

Click here to view some pics of Haiti

Haiti has been devastated. Already reported that a half a million people are dead. To put that in perspective, when the World Trade Towers were attacked and destroyed we americans lost a little over 3,000 people. Haiti has just lost over 500,000.

Lord, give us compassion like you have.  Jesus always had the needy on His mind. 

Please click the link above to see pics from Haiti.

The Truth Hurts

Luke 6:32-35

“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”

Reading through Matthew this week, I was caught by Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mountain in chapter 5:43 and following. Then I cross referenced that over to Luke 6 (the text above). Wow!  I know a lot of Christians. I mean, I know thousands of Christians…personally. 

I know few people that live this out. When I think about this text, very few folks come to mind.

How about you? You know lots of believers. Do you know anyone that lives this out? Or how about this… When your friends and family and neighbors and co-workers think about this text and question, do you come into their minds? Are you who they think of when they think of love and giving and selflessness like this?

I pray that we will take Jesus’ words seriously. 

NewThru30 impact already

The last 2 days, which are the first 2 days of the NewThru30 challenge for our church, have been incredible. I have been giddy excited to jump in and be reading God’s Word.

God has already caught my attention in some mighty ways. Wow, we are only 2 days into it!

Notice with me what I have seen as I’m reading through Matthew,

In Matt. 3:11, John the Baptist speaking of Jesus says he is not worthy to carry his sandals.

In Matt. 8:8, the centurion while asking for help tells Jesus “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof”.

By grace, I echo both these men.I am not worthy of Christ. And that is why grace is amazing. And peace is beyond all comprehension. And mercies are new every morning. And love is greatest. Because Jesus has saved us who are unworthy.

My prayer is that there will be more people in Fairdale who confess they are not worthy of Jesus, and by faith love Him because worthy is the Lamb who was slain.

Embarassing

I am about to finish this mighty book, Why Revival Tarries.

On one of the last pages Leonard Ravenhill writes, “At the judgment seat the most embarassing thing the believer will face will be the smallness of his praying.”

God has gotten my full attention through this small book.  I know that prayer is important.  It has been my highest priority in my beginning months as the pastor in Fairdale to lead us to pray more. We pray more. We pray quite a bit. We have a goal of praying 2 whole hours a week corporately as a church. That seems to me to be a lot. But we are almost there.

But our goal is not merely to pray a lot, but instead to have powerful prayer lives. It is our desire to know God well. We want to ask…and receive.

God, give us the ability to pray big and not be embarassed.