The Tabernacle Scroll
"For Christ's love compels us…" (2 Cor. 5:14)
It is important for us to take stock of our motivations in reaching out to the community. The church must continue the work that he began. This work, in essence, is twofold: firstly, to bear witness to his divine nature and mission and secondly, to show compassion to people in need.
We believe the church must serve the community. Jesus said “ If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners’, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back”(Luke 6:32-35).
The key words are “without expecting to get anything back”. It is true that Jesus also taught that those who give will receive abundantly. Nevertheless, we must not allow the purity of our motives in giving to be compromised by what we will get in return. If we give we will get, but we don’t give in order to get - not if we are really obedient to Jesus! We give freely because we are givers. This is the hallmark of our discipleship.
The most powerful testimony of the aspect of ‘giving’ is that of Christians living together in loving fellowship. "Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God" (Rom. 15:7). This is a stooping, forgiving, costly love!
The early Christians’ rich communal life was the major attraction of the Christian faith to the pagans of their day. It is no different today. We have few things of greater immediate relevance to offer the world than the secret of genuine human relationship.
But in our enthusiasm for the lost, let us not forget that our service is to be directed first to those within the brotherhood of faith (Gal: 6:10).
Devotional Preach The Word
www.kerysso.org-Preach The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues