What is your response when you see images of starving children on TV? Do you turn the channel in search of more entertaining fare, or do you linger and watch the unimaginable images on the screen? Are you moved to take action or do you make excuses and expect someone else to help?
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How do you imagine Jesus would respond to the site of starving children? Do you react in kind? It is important to step back and assess our responses to the needs all around us to be certain we are doing the work we have been called to do.
We live our lives sheltered from the harsh realities of the world in which we live. We work hard to keep ourselves safe from harm and free from undue risk. How much freedom is really found in such a life? Our movements are hindered by the protective cage we build around ourselves. True freedom is found when we dare to risk and engage in all the Lord has given us to do. Jesus acted when He saw those in need. He had compassion on the poor and the sick, and He made a point of making time for children. Jesus didn’t “turn the channel” or walk the other way when confronted with need. He did what His mission compelled Him to do; He took pity on those around Him and showered them with His love and grace.
When we surrendered our lives to Jesus we told Him we would follow Him everywhere and would do what He told us to do. As time passes and the initial commitment fades in our memory, we lose our passion to be the person He created us to be. We give more attention to our comforts than the comforts of others; our focus drifts to our needs rather than on those of another. This is the delight of Satan. It is so easy to fall into trap of living the “American Dream” version of Christianity and end up totally forsaking our commitment to Christ.
Remember when Christ told the rich young ruler to sell all of his possessions and distribute the proceeds among the poor? Remember when Jesus called the disciples to leave everything they knew to follow Him? This is the God we serve; these are the types of commitments we must be willing to make if we are to follow Him. Instead we cower in our comfortable houses indulging every whim of our appetites. We have been blessed with much, and much is expected of us in return. We cannot turn away from starving children if we are truly a follower of Christ. We cannot walk past someone in need without lending assistance if we are truly a disciple of Jesus.
Each of us who claim to be followers of Jesus one day looked to Him and surrendered our lives. We told Him that He would be Lord over our thoughts and actions. Do you still possess the fire of that commitment? Does the passion to serve Him above all else still burn within? Followers of Jesus are moved to action when they see needs around the world. The problems are massive and widespread; we may not be able to cure every injustice of which we are made aware. Each of us, however, can bring justice for one; we all have the capacity to reach into the life of another with the love of Jesus and give them hope in a world that has passed them by. It is what Jesus would do; it is our mission too.