First John 3:17
But 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?
What can we do?
Because there are so many things wrong in the world, many of us do nothing, but all of us can at least do something. One atheist said that the reason he doesn’t believe in God is because there is suffering. I asked him, “You are sure there is no God?” He said, “Yes,” but then I said, “Guess what. You’re still stuck with suffering in the world.” Not believing in God just because there is suffering is ignoring the issue of the depravity of mankind. Adam and Eve decided for themselves to choose their own way, and ever since then, we’ve been reaping the consequences, but that’s no reason to do nothing. God may be telling us what we can do in our own place in the world. The biggest problem is not so much poverty and famine of food, but the famine of the Word. We can do something, but that’s only a temporary solution. However, to offer them the message of hope–that is the ultimate fix for humanity’s sin problem (John 3:16).
Filling a Need
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, just because there is so much wrong in the world doesn’t mean that we cannot do anything. We should do what we can. Our church has a food bank. We distribute clothing. We teamed with a prison ministry for those who have been saved in prison and now need help after their release. We try to fill the needs where we can with what we have. To do nothing is shutting our ears to the poor, and God is not pleased with this (Prov 21:13). We can tell them that we hope they have enough to eat and to now leave in peace (James 2:16), and “we’ll pray for you” is a cop-out. Why not do what the Salvation Army does. It’s more than soup and soap; it’s also salvation, but not to the exclusion of the soup and soap!
Love is a Verb
I think the world’s definition of love and God’s definition of love are completely different. To the world, love is all about a feeling, but to God, love is a verb. It is what you do, and it is action-oriented. Just look at the work of Christ at Calvary to see what love really is. The world’s thinking can easily seep into our thinking in the church, and we see love as “what I feel, what I want,” but the love of God is helping others in ways that show or prove our love. Talk is cheap, but action is costly, and love is doing and not just saying and feeling.
A Closing Prayer
Great God, our Father in heaven, help me to not be overwhelmed by the evil and suffering in the world that makes me feel helplessly overwhelmed and may make me feel that I cannot do anything. At least I can do something because even a cold cup of water to someone in need is never lost (Mark 9:41). Please help me keep this world’s problems in perspective, to know that even if I can’t solve all that is wrong, I can help in my own place. In Jesus’ precious name I pray.
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