How Your Small Sacrifice Makes Sure the Gospel Is Not Forgotten
1 John 3 says: 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
Have you ever thought that a willing sacrifice of our worldly possessions imitates the sacrifice of our Savior?
Obviously, what Jesus gave up was incomparable to the small amount we would give up to help out someone who was hurting, hungry, or needed some monetary help to get by. In a few days or a few minutes, what we gave up might be forgotten to the ash heap of time, but Christ’s sacrifice will never be lost to a world that continually needs the hope of forgiveness.
So, should we do away with helping others, or not be so concerned with it? Notice I said earlier that after awhile, what we gave up would be lost to the ash heap of time. But God doesn’t exist in the same time/space reality that we do! What we sacrifice now for those around us is not lost on eternity. Above us (or around us, however that eternity thing works) God celebrates when His people are charitable and compassionate to those around them. He commends the work that advances His Kingdom amongst us. He reminds us that it helps make a difference for somebody, whether they acknowledge it or not. Not all of the lepers that were cleansed returned to give Jesus thanks and honor God for their healing. But that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a miraculous, wonderful thing that had happened. If no one else had seen it or knew of it except those ten lepers and Jesus, it was still powerful. And, God saw it, the angels saw it, the saints in Heaven knew of it, and it contributed to the message of grace being extended to a group of people who felt hopeless.
God’s love follows the actions that we do. Not only does it motivate us to do great things, but it follows what we do. It is the remnant that makes sure the Gospel will never be lost in our world. God’s love, extended in Jesus Christ, and confirmed in the actions we take to love another, means that the world will continue to be better even when it seems to be worse. When we do things in the name of Jesus, we are simultaneously thanking God for our salvation, while praying that salvation is confirmed in or extended to that other person. Our good works in the name of Jesus are an action of asking the Holy Spirit to open the hearts of everyone we help to receive Jesus’ grace.
So, set aside time to make a willing sacrifice for someone else who truly needs it. It helps the Gospel remain alive and powerful in this world.
Think on that. Amen.