By Carlton Foster – November 21, 2020
I was watching a Christian TV program where the presenter showed pictures and video clips of a young man who is sick and needs financial help for surgery. The presenter also showed video clips of a senior lady whose home was devastated by a recent flood. The presenter was making an appeal to the listening congregation for financial help for these two individuals and asked for prayers for God to help them. I then wondered what happened to us Christians – who are made the image of God. He equipped us, but we keep asking God for help as if we are utterly helpless.
We are made in the image of God. He gave us knowledge, wisdom, and resources. God said to love one another; to do good to the least of ‘these’; to help the poor, widows, and orphans! God equipped us to do good works, but we always resort to asking God for monies to help instead of using us – those who are gifted and are in the area where the need is wanted. We are conditioned to think that the power of money can solve most things. So the first thing that comes to our mind is to search for monies. Yes! We pray for monies; we begged for monies; we solicit offerings in money to help the various causes, but these are missed opportunities.
We missed the opportunities to personally minister to the needy. These opportunities are where we could be Jesus to these people. The church organization has many hospitals, doctors, and nurses. This is the opportunity where they can be Jesus to this sick man. They can donate their time, effort, and resources to help. The church leaders should be the ones to facilitate these kinds of requests. God gave us these gifts but we still pray for God to send help as these Christians sit and look for monies. The Bible said in Matthew 8:5-7 (NKJV), “Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” If you noticed that Jesus was ready to personally follow the Centurion to the spot where help is needed – he could have sent the angels instead.
The Bible also said in Matthew 9:35, “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” He did not send the angels, he did it himself. We as the body of Christ are missing these opportunities to show the world that we can be Jesus to them in times of need. For the senior lady whose house was damaged in the flood, the Christian churches in her area should all descend on her with spades, forks, buckets, and tools to help. This will show her and her neighbors that Jesus sends help for her. This will show the world that we care for hurting people. The church could have collected monies and then give it to her in an envelope, but it would not show the community that the church people helped. They would not see Jesus if the church members do not show up to work and help her.
We missed many of these opportunities when calamities come upon people in our neighborhood. We stand aside and prayed and sympathized with the victims, instead of rallying to the cause with forces from the church members. It is the responsibility of the pastors and church leaders to organize these events, but instead, we have prayer vigils; we send donations, and minister to them from afar. We need to have a paradigm shift on how to preach the words of God to a dying generation; we must use our forces and personally minister to people who are in need. These are the type of preaching we must do now and in the future. We should do these on worship days and during the week. How good it would be if after the whole congregation descend on victims and help them, then have worship at the same spot – giving thanks to God! This would be far more blessings than the congregation stayed in their church building, collect offerings, and send an envelope to the victims.