But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.
The Hallmark of the Christian faith is love. Some would argue with me and say it’s faith. But, faith proves nothing if we don’t have love. On the other hand, love proves our faith. St. James said in his epistle, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (Jam. 1:27) Likewise, St. John, when speaking about love said, “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” (1 Jn. 3:18)
St. Paul rejoiced that the Philippians showed their love to him in tangible ways. Most likely, they sent a love offering of money and supplies to him. Their actions showed they not only believed in the gospel he shared with them, but they truly cared. We live in an individualistic world where not nearly enough attention is given to teaching and preaching acts of loving service to others. We spend far more time teaching the gospel as a faith to be believed, rather than a way of life to be lived out.
There is nothing more powerful than a ‘living gospel’, an act that shows someone the love of Jesus through a work of mercy or compassion. How are you doing at living out the gospel in your own life? If we’re not careful we can spend all our time working, worshipping, and raising our family, all done through faith in Jesus Christ, and without realizing it, we haven’t spent any time showing others around us how much we care…assuming of course we do care.
In his book Lifestyle Evangelism, Joe Aldridge said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care”. Think about it, if that’s true of our closest relations, it’s has to be true of the community around us. As Christians we must take the time to get involved in our communities. We must serve others in the name and love of Jesus Christ. When that happens we share a ‘living gospel’, not just great words.
Some people say they can’t do works of compassion in the community. They just don’t have the personality to get out there among the people, or they say they’re afraid to serve the underprivileged. The resurrection of Jesus Christ teaches us that we can do anything in His power. So, go ahead, give it a try. Openly show someone the gospel is alive; it’s what Christ did for you through someone. And remember, Christ is risen…and so are you!
Grace & Peace,
Merciful Father, teach me to show love and mercy to others around me that I may be your hands your feet to a lost and broken world. Amen. Alleluia!