Chapter Four – The Towering Pillars of Compassion and Justice

“God saw through their veneer of religiosity.”

Did it take you a bit longer to get through this chapter? It did me. It was one I stepped lightly through instead of one continual read. I kept having to stop and think, “how am I doing here?” Or I’d find myself lost in thought over a particular concept. I love this stuff.

A few things that really caught my attention (although there was a lot of underlining happening here). This concept of Action. Tangible Action. “Doing” – as I wrote beside quite a few scripture passages. And promises.

Doing – The Israelite nation who’s prayers were ignored by God at that time. Why? Because they were speaking, but not doing. But when we do God offers a promise. It’s a pattern that is consistent.

Do – “For this kind of kingdom community, a people whose actions demonstrate this level of authentic personal and social change…”

Promise – Isaiah 58: 10-11(ish) – “he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Being somewhere that has experienced a drought this hits home (none like other parts of the world, but we certainly got a taste).

Jesus encouraged he was the Messiah by pointing to tangible evidence. He was doing – and b/c of it that was his encouragement.

Two quotes that I have underlined and starred multiple time that for me offers a hope and a realistic expectation that I can certainly accomplish – along with one that offers conviction and the motivation to keep growing in this area.

Hope: “I only propose that a genuine concern ‘for the least of these’ that finds tangible expression must be woven into the pattern of their lives and faith.”

Motivation (altered Rich’s words to make it a personal question): “Will Christ find evidence of my genuine concern for His beloved poor when He looks at the fruit of my life on that day? Further, what might He be calling me to do today?”

Can I work into our budget another $35 to sponsor another kiddo from Hosean International Ministries (HIM)? Yeah. I can. B/c the 10 times I’m too lazy to cook and instead go out to eat junk? That’s meals for a MONTH plus school plus healthcare that a kiddo could have. I have been reminded over and over that what we give that seems so small God can multiply. I was looking through pictures of my good friend’s trip to Africa last year. He is the director of HIM. He was asked to travel through Africa to do some seminars and preaching/teaching/encouragement to pastors throughout the country. Giving a little to HIM and God multiplies it farther than we could even imagine.

Can one more pair of shoes from Target that I buy myself have the same impact? Not likely.

What are tangible ideas that you have?

And can someone please also start the discussion on the AMAZING story of the World Vision’s Children of War Center? B/c that gave me goosebumps.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under The Hole In Our Gospel

2 responses to “Chapter Four – The Towering Pillars of Compassion and Justice

  1. Allison

    I did a lot of underlining in this chapter, too. It seemed to keep coming back to “whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me”. For me, that sums up what the book has been about so far. And it drives home the importance of my actions. Makes me feel as if anything, big or small, for anyone in need, is helpful and as you said, Tiff, God will multiply these actions in his own way.

    As for the story of the LRA child soldiers….horrifying stuff that has happened to these children in Uganda. Like, completely unimaginable. I feel like there have been constant situations lately in the news where I find myself thinking that I can’t even fathom what people go through. Not exactly the same type of situation, but just thinking about the hurricane situation on the east coast and the destruction and loss people are experiencing there. I have trouble even wrapping my brain around it. “Even a small match lit in a place of total darkness gives off a blinding light.” So true. I saw a picture on facebook of someone in New Jersey letting strangers use their electricity to charge their cell phones and it almost made me cry to think that for some people right now, that was the greatest thing. To have a way to let their loved ones know that they are ok. Providing a place for the children of war to feel safe and protected and to be welcome after the horrors they have lived through is huge and awesome. It seems as though we have the choice between using our prayers to ask God why there are wars (or natural disasters, or illness…), or we can ask Him what we can be doing to help those affected.

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