Thursday, January 28, 2010

shut down our city

"If all the Christians-I mean all of 'em-got outta the pews on Sundays and into the streets, we'd shut the city down.  We'd shut down hunger.  We'd shut down loneliness.  We'd shut down the notion that there is any such of a thing as a person that don't deserve a kind word and a second chance." --- Denver Moore in What Difference Do It Make

That quote was sent to me by one of our ladies at The Community last night.  What a huge and right on thought?  We are making a difference in our cities when we step up and do what Jesus did and what Jesus calls each of us to do.

Hebrews 13:16 (NLT) --- And don't forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

1 John 3:17 (NASB) --- But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?

Maybe I sound like a broken record to you, but I have to do what God has called me to do and lead our church to be what God made us to be.  It all hinges on demonstrating the love of God to our community by helping those who are in need.  What can you do today to shut down you city by removing hunger, homelessness and hurt?

In a few minutes I will be going to the funeral home to share with one of our families, Wayne and Carol Biggs.  I don't often share things like this, but I must.  The Biggs are one of our biggest givers.  No, I am not talking about in the offering bucket.  I am talking about in our community.  They are always helping others, finding needs and meeting them.  Their story is something that would bless you because they have blessed hundreds if not thousands of people through the years.  They are simple people and not rich by any means.  But when God blesses, they serve.  Wayne and Carol are working to shut down our city by helping hurting people.

I sat this morning around the table with two of our ladies.  We are sharing the dreams that God is putting on our heart to help the hungry, homeless and hurting people around us.  Some of those dreams are easy or doable.  But lots of them are God sized and require god to show up.  I believe God is going to and has shown up.  We are leading our people to shut down the hurt in our city and our community.

It is easy to do business as usual.  It is comfortable to leave things the way they are.  I mean, maybe I am not hurting now when others are, but we will get by ... have you heard that from people?  I have heard it for far too long from me.  Listen up, and I am often the negative one who brings into play conversations about the cost and how big or hard things are to complete.  Yet God has grabbed my heart and is making people show up around me who are willing to shut down our city for the cause of Christ.

When we show others the love of Jesus, they will be changed.  When we serve people who are hurting, we win the right to share our story with them.  When we move outside of our comfort zone and do what is not easy, God will begin working in ways that we can't do on our God.  God will shut down the city when we begin to meet the needs of the hungry, the homeless and the hurting people we encounter.

Matthew 25:35-36,40 (NLT) --- For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.' ...  "And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!'

We serve God as we serve others.  That is when we shut down our city by doing what Jesus did.

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