Short of living in a bubble, most of us are well aware of the mess this world has become. We only need to pick up a newspaper or read the online news to see that mans inhumanity to man is everywhere, parents are murdering their children, children are murdering their parents, people in positions of leadership are abusing children and wars and rumors of wars are increasing. It is just one hot mess! Some respond by turning off the news and refusing to expose themselves to anything negative. Some wrap themselves in a family cocoon and don’t look outside their own little world. Some keep themselves busy with their career, job or hobbies and just put the woes of the world out of their mind. As followers of Christ, we need to be aware of things going on outside of our own four walls. If we have no idea of what is going on in our neighborhoods, communities and the world in general we have no idea of where or how we can best serve. Missions have been birthed on needs observed. If we don’t see the need, we can’t provide the solution. Though the most obvious need for all is salvation, often before the gospel can be preached or shared other practical needs have to be addressed. For example, going to a drought ridden African country and preaching the gospel alone is not going to accomplish the same as going there and providing the people with food and water and the gospel. It is often the practical demonstration of Christ’s love that first draws other’s to our Savior! The same analogy can be applied in our own communities. First we see a need, then we offer our service in meeting that need and then have the opportunity to share the love of Christ with others. Perhaps it’s time for some of us in the body of Christ to look around and see if there are outside needs that God would like us to become involved in. Our mission field doesn’t have to be continents away. It can be just down the street. Pray and ask God to open your eyes to the needs around you and show you how you may be used to meet those needs. He doesn’t require us to be perfect before we can be used. We just need to have a sincere heart and make ourselves available.
Phillipians 2:1-4 NIV 2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Galatians 5:13-14 NIV 13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matthew 5:14-16 NIV 14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Proverbs 11:25 NIV 25 A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Why is it so important to look outside our own lives and reach out to others? This verse sums it all up…
John 3:16 NIV 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.