Words from the Heart for Tuesday August 9th, 2016
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?
1 John 3:17 (NIV)
Helping Those in Need
Do you know a Christian who has a need? How might God be pleased to use you today to encourage and strengthen them through a sacrifice of what you have? How might you give a practical expression of love to someone today?
According to the Food Banks Canada website, in March 2015, 852,137 people received food from a food bank in Canada. More than one-third of those helped were children. Half of the provinces experienced increases in food bank use in 2015. Hardest hit was Alberta, where unemployment increased by 10% between March 2014 and 2015 in the wake of the dropping price of oil. Three-quarters of food banks in this province reported an increase in use. Nationally, 54% of food banks reported an increase in the number of people requesting food assistance. 7% of households helped by food banks live primarily on income from a pension; 16% of those assisted earn the majority of their income through work; 18% of households receive disability-related income supports; 46% of households accessing food banks are on provincial social assistance benefits.
Sharing is a Biblical concept. From the earliest pages of Scripture God’s people are commanded to share with those who are less fortunate. The New Testament speaks into this as well. 1 John 3:17 says “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?” At the heart of the Christian faith is compassion. An old Christian songwriter asks “Except I am moved with compassion, how dwelleth Thy Spirit in me?” John tells us that one of the marks of having been redeemed is a deep love for others. It expresses itself in loving acts that rise out of a heart that reflects the love of God for the world. Our relationship with Jesus Christ is not just for our own blessing and benefit. We are called as sons and daughters of our loving God to share with others out of the material blessings He has poured out upon us. It seems in our day Christians are known for what we stand for or against. While we are called to stand for the truth, it is our compassion and generosity that should mark our lives. After all, we are who we are in Christ because of the generosity of our loving God who provides all we need. The love of God that is for everyone who belongs to Jesus must express itself in practical acts of giving.
These have been words from the heart.