Charity Begins At Home

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GOD CAN USE ANYONE, anywhere, anytime.

He might not want all of us to get P.H.D.s or move to the other side of the world, and you don’t have to be a televangelist or a best-selling author in order to live a great life (not to disrespect any televangelists or best-selling authors out there). Take Jesus for example. He spent most of his earthly life in his small hometown, and people were surprised that he even knew how to read. He wasn’t married, wasn’t very attractive, and wasn’t a stranger to suffering. He chose ordinary working men and even social outcasts to be his companions and torchbearers.

Neither of my grandfathers had college degrees or ordinations. What they did was common but also very important.

After serving in the military, my father’s father built a successful business, and today the profits help to support charities near and far.

My mother’s father made time every Sunday, on his one day off, to visit the inmates of the local jail. When a drunk man interrupted a worship service at church, my grandfather decided to take him home. My grandmother washed and mended his clothes while my grandfather told him about Jesus. It was a simple thing to do. There was no fuss about it and no applause. But this man’s heart was changed, and many years later he sent them a letter to tell them that he had become a preacher.

Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.–1st John 3:18 NKJV

Less is more when God is in it, so little things are more important than they might seem. Little things can make a big difference. A smile. A touch. Fifteen dollars. A word, spoken in the right way at the right time. A cup of cold water. (You don’t have to watch It’s A Wonderful Life to know this.)

“I must be about my father’s business,” Jesus said–and so must I. I am my brother’s keeper.  Continue reading “Charity Begins At Home”

His Work, His Way

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“God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”–Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

THE SUICIDE AND ALCOHOLISM RATES in my neighborhood are well known facts. Teen suicide is 62% higher than the national average. Alcoholism is 510% higher. We have the highest unemployment levels in the state. One out of three females are sexually abused. The average life expectancy is forty years…

God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.–1st Corinthians 1:27-29 ESV

What is not well known is that God is doing good things here. He’s using common clay. He is personally invested in His creation, and nothing is too hard for Him. He’s working in unexpected ways, through unlikely and unassuming people. He’s doing His work His way, and unseen miracles happen all the time.

I was reminded of this today when I interviewed a certain unsung hero. (Notice all the uns in this: unexpected, unlikely, unassuming, unseen, unsung…)

“God don’t make junk,” he said.

No, Precious, He doesn’t.

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.–Ephesians 2:10 NLT