In my last blog, I focused on how people who allegedly serve others, serve themselves, like the Kanamits in an episode of the Twilight Zone. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Serve_Man_(The_Twilight_Zone)
Today I will focus on serving God, which by doing so, you serve others.
- Out of compassion, you genuinely care for people and make sacrifices to help the needy. Like Christ, you show agape love — love which expects nothing in return. Develop relationships with the people you serve and focus on what’s best for them.
“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
2nd Corinthians 5:20
Except for the one host I mentioned at the Salvation Army Community center, Levittown, PA, who often hosts the community meals, the hosts at the meals have been gracious to their homeless and needy guests. They have been developing relationships with the guests; they know each other by first names.
A woman from one church that provides community meals remarked, during a conversation she had with a few of us after we finished eating, “we are a small church; I wish we could do more.” I told her that they have done a lot. They not only give out small care packages at the meals, but they make their guests feel at home. They accept them unconditionally and help them sort out their problems.
That church is the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church in Newtown, PA. This is the same denomination where that evil man gunned down people, in Charlestown, SC. People associated with this church didn’t vent anger by attacking white people or ranting and raving that Confederate flags be banned. Instead, they were forgiving and continued to serve God.
In a Christian blog about progressivism versus Christianity, the writer said that we are actually born liberals — because we, as my daughter’s preschool teacher told the kids, are born with “a dirty heart”. In order to practice true, genuine tolerance, Jesus has to change us from the inside. Because someone is unregenerate (heart not changed by God), he cannot do this. Instead of addressing the problem of human character flaws, outside circumstances need to be manipulated.
Gun control is a perfect example. Liberals think that if we take away people’s guns, then we will have peace. Wrong!
When I first thought about the AME abbreviation, African Methodist Episcopal, I thought that maybe this was an Afro-centric church, and that they, like that certain Salvation Army woman, favors black people. I went on the church’s website and discovered this was not the case. The AME church was formed because at one time blacks were not allowed to be ministers, so they formed the African Methodist Episcopal church.
My experience with the AME church is that they genuinely welcome everybody. I have gone to their church twice. On my first visit I was one of two visitors. The pastor welcomed us during the service and asked us to introduce ourselves and to say a few words. I took communion for the first time in years, as now I was in a real church.
I was hesitant, as my dirty heart needed cleaning. On my knees, I asked God to help me. Several men prayed with me. After the service, a man gave me his phone number.
The last sermon, which I heard on Sunday, was about following God’s path.
Psalm 1:1-6 NKJV
The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
The pastor preached about taking the right path when you come to a fork in the road. He admonished the congregation that when you come to a fork in the road, follow God. The pastor warned that if you don’t follow the way of the Lord, you are headed for destruction. He quoted an old popular song that said that you should just act naturally, that is, act on impulses. The pastor admonished the congregation not to take this path.
We are born in sin, depraved, and we need to learn to walk in God’s ways. This doesn’t come naturally. Christians shouldn’t succumb to un-Godly behavior. The theory of the Noble Savage, put into practice, leads to destruction. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_savage
Addictions and other character flaws can be overcome by tapping into God’s grace. If your roots are in the Lord, you can overcome your problems, even what is called “mental illness”. That is unless the cause is organic. God wrote the book on human behavior, and he knows what’s best for us.
There is a group that meets in lower Bucks County, twice a week, two different locations, that applies Biblical principles to the original 12 step program, created to help alcoholics. This program helps participants get to the root of this and other addictions and problems, such as anger, resentment and drug misuse. http://www.12stepjourney.com/
Jesus said he is the way, the truth, and the light. We shall overcome!