Thursday, January 8, 2015

serving others this winter


“It is cold out there.”  That is a fact that many people in our area last night and this morning said.  Reality for many across our region gave us the opportunity to share with some people in need.

Last year about this time a group of people gathered to open a winter shelter, and this year we have opened a winter / warming shelter once again.  Last night was the eleventh night the shelter has been open.  As we have talked to people in our community I have shared our desire to have a permanent shelter in our town for men and families.

The people who have made this possible come from several different churches and organizations.  This week alone we have had 12 new volunteers join the team for the winter shelter.  That fact makes me smile big time.

As we continue there are a few things that I have learned, re-learned or been totally convinced of.  Check these out with me…

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

When we see a need and can do something about it, we should do something.  It is amazing the feeling you get when you help someone in need.  But we don’t do it for the feeling we get. 

If we do nothing, it shows we don’t care.  If we do something, we demonstrate the love of God.  The love of God finds a need and steps in to meet a need or to heal a hurt because our heart has prepared by God to show others who He is and what He does and how He loves.

Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

We are stronger together.  We can accomplish so much more when we choose to work together for a common purpose.  This is true on many different levels.  A ball team that works together will go further than they could alone.  A business where all the people work together will accomplish so much.

The same is true when people form the same community but from different churches come together to make a difference in the lives of the people in that same community who have a need.  We love where we live.  We love the people around us.  We make a difference when we begin to deal with the needs around us.

“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!’

Finally, when we serve others, we are serving God.  This is burning deep in my heart and in the hearts of many people around us.  I have met some incredible people this time working on the winter / warming shelter.  Some of these people are young.  Some of these people are retired.  Of the people on this volunteer team the youngest is a teenager, and the oldest is in their eighties. 

We are making a difference together.  There is much more to do and more people to be served.  We serve to share Jesus with those we serve.  I cannot wait to see what God does next!

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