"Listen my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised those who love Him?" James 2:5 NIV
February is the month we focus on LOVE. So let us challenge ourselves a little.
How do we react when we see a homeless person on the street? How do we feel if we get on the bus next to a smelly, unkempt person? How do you feel when you get behind that person in the grocery line who really needs to use deodorant? How do you react when the only seat left in church is next to a really scruffy-looking person? How do we react when one of our folks arrives at Bible study intoxicated? Am I getting warm yet? We all have our times when we "feel" repulsed by another human being for one reason or another. BUT, how do we respond?
What does the Bible say? Let's look at the book of James again.
"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanies by action, is dead." James 2:14-17
Now we see our less fortunate folks from a different light. We are to help them if it is within our ability to do so.
How often to you buy an extra meal(s) at the fast food and pass it on to the homeless fellow down the street? Ever considered praying about picking up hitchhikers? The Lord will show you which ones to pick up if He wants you to minister in that way. When is the last time you cleaned out your closet and donated your GOOD extra clothes to the local thrift shop so the less fortunate could afford to buy something nice and warm? How about going through your children's toys and donating INTACT toys to the same thrift shop?
These are all ways we can love our neighbors as ourselves. These outward signs of LOVE can be a genuine witness to those around us, especially our children. I love to tuck portions of scripture into these "gifts" so the recipient knows God loves them and cares about their needs.
So, dear busy chefs, let's get out there and do some LOVING this month and all year long.
A special note to our institutional (prison) chefs - A kind word, a fair decision, or a friendly smile can go a long way towards reinforcing your Christian testimony to those behind bars. I know.....I am a retired Prison Chef. I am blessed to have one of our former "inmate workers" attending my church. He is God's fruit of consistent witness by faithful Christians who worked with him in jail.
Love to you all, in Jesus' love and grace,