Faith and Works

12 Jul

I preached on faith this past Sunday…”believing/trusting God’s promises to do us good through Jesus Christ.”

Then I had a hard time living it.

I know, for those who read this from Grace Fellowship Coopersburg, that this is a scary time in the life of the church there. Sending out the Macks, sending out the Fleeners, sending out the pastor and his family, financial concerns, etc. But God is going to do us good. He is doing us good. Like Abraham raising the knife with Isaac, even when it seems like God might be breaking His promises, we can be confident He isn’t. Our job is to trust and obey.

Now for Africa stuff.

Too much to write, really. What a day.

Went out to a township/settlement – shacks absolutely everywhere. God is raising up an incredible work there. A woman, Melana, she went there about three years ago with a passion to glorify God by doing good in a place with like thousands upon thousands of people dying of A.I.D.’s (by the way 30 percent infection rate in South Africa as a whole, 70 percent in certain districts) and thousands upon thousands of orphans. She said many people feel compassion, but few act. So she acted. She didn’t exactly know how to begin, but started by training foster mothers. Anyway, now she has helped start and strengthen hospices where they take care of people dying of AIDS, orphanages, she has a feeding program for hundreds of children, day care for the orphans they don’t have room for in the orphanages (I wish I could remember the stats on how many child headed homes there are in South Africa.)

Amazing stuff.

I wish I could somehow describe the needs here. I sometimes feel like if I could just do that well enough then everybody would just want to do whatever they could to help. But I know that’s not the way it works. Melana described the church in Western cultures as “fat cats” who have it so good but don’t even begin to know how good they have it. It’s the gospel that has to change our hearts. Looking at Christ, his sacrifice for us, understanding how much he’s done that’s what the Holy Spirit will use to motivate us to make sacrifices.

I like how Robert Murray McCheyne once put it, “Ah! Dear friend! I am concerned for the poor, but more for you. I know not what will Christ will say to you in that Great day. I fear there are many hearing me who may know now well that they are not Christians because they do not love to give. To give largely and liberally, not grudging at all requires a new heart; an old heart would rather part with its life-blood than its money. Oh my friends! Enjoy your money, make the most of it; give none away, enjoy it quickly for I can tell you, you will be beggars throughout eternity.”

Ouch. Convicts me every time.

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