|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “The end of anxiety and despair”
Our Bible verse for today: “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:3-6 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Jesus isn’t cold in the attic”
There was a grandfather who was a good godly man, kind and compassionate. He had a grandson who was also a professing Christian, but the young man was one of those Christians who was a stickler for religious detail and for piously going through the motions of faith. But there was a hard edge to him, especially with respect to people in need. He just didn’t seem to have much empathy or compassion, and that bothered the grandfather very much.
One day, the young man was helping the grandfather go through some of the things he had in storage up in the attic when he came across a framed picture of Jesus in a corner behind some boxes. The grandson commented on what a shame it was that Jesus was confined to a cold dark attic. To that the grandfather softly replied, “Son, Jesus isn’t cold in the attic. But He is cold in the body of a poorly clothed child.” The grandfather was referring to Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
That reminded me of another story that happened right here in Cumberland County, TN just the other day. Our partner church in the coal-mining region of eastern Kentucky contacted us to say that they were in desperate need of winter clothes for children, and they asked if we could help. We then put the word out to our church and to the Christian community in our county. A men’s Bible study group known as “The Cake Club” responded. They took $1000 out of their ministry funds, added another $1900 out of their own pockets, went to Walmart, and purchased almost $3000 worth of new winter clothes for those cold and poorly clothed children in need.
The men of “The Cake Club” are all Christian men who have walked through some deep and dark valleys in their own lives. Now, as a band of brothers, they walk the Christian life together, supporting one another and working together to bless others in the name of Jesus. Those men have been radically saved by Christ (from their sins and from their former lives), and now they are being transformed as the Holy Spirit continues His work in their lives (Philippians 1:3-6). Out of a deep sense of thanksgiving for what the Lord has done for them, they are joyfully and generously being a conduit for the blessings of God to flow to others. That’s simply what they do. It’s how they live.
One of the best and most effective ways we can deal with deep dark stuff in our own lives is to take our eyes off of ourselves and our own issues, and focus instead on being a blessing to others in need. It’s what the Lord has called us to do (Matthew 25:35-40).
This morning my family and I want to wish you and yours a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. I also want to encourage you to intentionally demonstrate your gratefulness to the Lord by being a blessing to someone in need. Remember, Jesus isn’t cold in the attic, but He is cold in the body of a poorly clothed child. In other words (to quote the Bible writer James), “Faith without works is dead”.
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