Our theme for this month: “Character and Integrity”
Our Bible verse for today: “At that time Jesus healed many people of diseases, afflictions, and evil spirits, and he granted sight to many blind people. He replied to them, ‘Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news.” Luke 7:21-23 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Have compassion on those in need”
This Sunday evening at Oak Hill Baptist Church is “Bread of Life Night”. It’s the Sunday each quarter when we hold our evening service at the Bread of Life Rescue Mission in downtown Crossville. At 5:00 some of us will lead the evening worship service while others are in the kitchen preparing the evening meal. Then at 6:00 we will serve the meal to the people living in the mission and to those who have come in off the street. After everyone has been served, we will sit down and eat with them. The menu this time is a “Crockpot Potluck”. Everyone is bringing their favorite Crockpot dish, so there will be a smorgasbord of selections.
The following weekend we will be going on our tri-annual mission trip to the coal mining region of eastern Kentucky. We partner with a little church up there by bringing them a large load of supplies to help them to minister to the poorest people in that very impoverished community. On this trip we will bring 125 boxes of food, each with enough food to feed a family of four for two meals. Each box will also have a family-size turkey with it. We are also bringing a supply of blankets, winter coats, and winter clothes.
Our goal in both of those cases is to come alongside and strengthen the efforts of Christians who are doing something good to build the kingdom of God in their community. They are preaching the Good News, leading people to Christ, and discipling them. Our assistance and resources are temporary in nature, but they do help to meet the immediate physical needs of hurting people, while our partners maintain a long-term presence for the cause of Christ in that community.
Meeting the physical needs of people first was Jesus’ model of ministry, and it is the one the Bible calls us to. Jesus directed much of his ministry efforts to the underclass, to the poor and the sick and the outcasts. The early church in Jerusalem did the same. They made the meeting of physical needs a prominent feature of their church life – whether they were taking care of their own, ministering to widows and orphans, or reaching out to hurting people in the extended community. The Apostle Paul modeled and taught this as well.
Character and integrity are often evidenced by acts of mercy and compassion. Virtuous Christians care about others. It’s a joy for me to be the Pastor of a church filled with kind and compassionate Christians who go out of their way to bless others. The character and integrity, the acts of compassion and mercy, routinely demonstrated by the members of our church are inspiring to me and I’m blessed to be a part of it.
I encourage you to show compassion to those in need.