Our soul winning passage from the Word of God today is 1 John 3:17 which reads: “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?”
Allow me to share with you some important insights regarding this Scripture from David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible:
If you have the capability to meet a brother’s needs, and do nothing to meet that need, then how can you say you love that brother? How does the love of God abide in you?
Here is a test of this love; if we do not divide our bread with the hungry, we certainly would not lay down our life for him. Whatever love we may pretend to mankind, if we are not charitable and benevolent, we give the lie to our profession.
What is the limit to this kind of love? The only limit is the one that love itself imposes. When giving to a person, meeting their perceived or immediate need, does them harm instead of good – then the loving thing to do is to not give them what they ask for, but to give them what they really need instead.
Our soul winning quote today is from Bill Hybels. He said: “When action-oriented compassion is absent, it’s a tell-tale sign that something’s spiritually amiss.”
Our soul winning devotional is part 65 of our series titled “What Evangelism Is” from Dave Earley and David Wheeler.
Evangelism Is…Being the Change You Wish to See In the World (Part 4)
“You Did It to Me”
In Matthew 25:31-46 Jesus tells of the future judgment on humankind, separating the righteous from the cursed. This passage is often used at homeless shelters and ministry boards to remind believers that reaching the world through ministry is glorifying to Christ. He states:
Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Notice the last five words in this passage: “You did it to Me.” When they fed the hungry, clothed the needy, cared for the sick, and visited the prisoner, they were serving Jesus! The righteous were unaware they had done these things for Jesus. Instead, it was a way of life for them to go out and love their neighbor as commanded. The humility and kindness of the righteous was a direct reflection of their hearts for ministry and their desire to love others. This is never far from the heart of God.
Do It With Love
Agnes Bojaxhiu spent her adult life ministering to the poor, the sick, the orphaned, and the dying among the poorest of the poor in the horrific slums of Calcutta, India. When she started an open-air school for slum children, she was joined by voluntary helpers. Financial support began to come in as she loved and cared for those persons nobody was prepared to look after.
Later known as Mother Teresa, she was given the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress.” Not surprisingly, she refused the conventional ceremonial banquet given to laureates and asked that the $192,000 funds be given to the poor in India.
In speaking about what it took to love poor, sick, orphaned beggars, she always spoke of the love involved in giving. Her example makes her words more powerful. She said, “Intense love does not measure; it just gives.” She also said, “It is not how much we do but how much love we put in the doing. It is not how much we give but how much love we put in the giving.”
In speaking of serving lowly people, she said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” When asked about why she could serve so tirelessly, she replied, “Love cannot remain by itself; it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.”
When asked how she could love such filthy, stinking, mean, helpless, hopeless people, Mother Teresa simply answered, “Each one of them is Jesus in disguise.”
In our next broadcast, we will continue looking at why evangelism is…Being the Change You Wish to See In the World.