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Of all the Hurricane Sandy images I saw this week, this one will stick with me the most:
That's somebody in New Jersey meeting a simple need. Most folks didn't have power. This person did. And they offered it freely.
To me, that's the essence of being a Jesus follower! He called us to meet needs. To meet people where they were. Over and over in the Bible, Jesus proved how important this was with His own actions.
I have been guilty in the past of complicating what it means to share Jesus with people. I worried about being "relevant" to somebody who seemed "cool." I worried about coming off as legalistic to folks who didn't believe in absolute truth. About sounding ignorant to those who were better educated than me. About being labeled a hypocrite by those who knew me too well.
Then there's this whole thing about what being "a Christian" means to Americans who aren't. We are only known to be against certain things, assumed to have certain political leanings, etc. The world knows more about our opinions than they do about the needs our Jesus meets.
And I wonder if that's because we have mistakenly put those things ahead of the essence of the Gospel. We have been commanded first and foremost to share His good news and to make disciples.
Jesus did it by meeting needs. By being the greatest servant in the history of humanity.
WHAT IF....that's what Christians became known for again? WHAT IF...the instant somebody went hungry, lost power, got evicted, fell victim to abuse, was robbed, beaten down....WHAT IF....Christians were so great at meeting needs that WE were first people anyone in trouble turned to?
What if I...in my own life...decided that I would be known as a Jesus-loving need-meeter? What if I made sure people knew about that before they knew where I stood politically, or what I thought of their behavior? What if I was so much like Jesus....such a great need-meeter...that I never had to say a word about that other stuff? My actions would communicate the importance of those things louder than my words.
What if you joined me in giving this a try?