Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Have Mercy

In the United States alone there are…
35.9 million people who live below the poverty level,
33 million people who do not have an adequate supply of food,
6 million people who are homeless at any one time,
1.1 million people who are living with the AIDS virus, and
500,000 orphans.

People are hungry, hurting, poor, struggling, and are in desperate need of help and they are in need of Christ. Why do we as Reformed believers, at times, seem hesitant to engage in the ministry of mercy? Where is the heart of Christ, towards those who suffer, demonstrated in our lives? What better opportunity do we have to tangibly obey our Father’s commands and to demonstrate His love towards them?

Unfortunately there seems to be a preoccupation with loving God with our minds and not with our hearts. We must be intentional in our love for others. As Reformed believers we are often intentional in our study, in our quest for more knowledge, and in our quickness to point out the importance of doctrine. But our intentional demonstration of compassion towards others could use a little work.

Fellow believers our aim should be to bring the ministry of mercy alongside the ministry of the Word. I John 3:18 says, “Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth”.
Our desire should be to demonstrate mercy and compassion to a hurting and suffering world. It is through our acts of mercy that biblical truth is also spread.

Jesus, our example, was “mighty in deed and word” (emphasis mine), Luke 24:19. He “came not to be served but to serve”, Matthew 20:28. Jesus was intentional and active in His service to others. So should we also be.

A part of the vision statement for Bethlehem Baptist Church North Campus articulates this idea well, “to spread a passion for the supremacy of God happens by words of truth and deeds of mercy, as we make ourselves the servants of other people’s joy.” Our service to others comes from our devotion to God and through that service may He receive all the more glory.

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