Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Making Ourselves Available to God... Part 3

With what has been going on in Japan since the earthquake, have you thought about going there to help? Most people I know are too scared of possible nuclear contamination from the damaged power plant to consider ‘exposing’ themselves to such risk. But, what if that is precisely what God is desiring of us? Although the country is far from poor and can mobilize their own people into action, what if this event can be used to glorify God, especially by having us, the church body, go into the one place everyone else is too afraid?

We come from a legacy of christian people who were willing to go beyond the ‘safe’ to help provide medical aid and spread the word of Christ’s redeeming love by living out what it means - to give more of ourselves than can ever be expected in return. Christ doesn’t love us because He expects us to love Him back. He loves us because that is His nature. And He calls us to do the same.

So what if like me, you cannot go to Japan to help? Then how do you do more here, at ‘home’?

Give. Advocate. Volunteer.


If you are opposed or too fearful to visit inmates, then consider another opportunity that will keep you from ever setting foot in a prison or jail: VOA - Volunteers of America.

Today, Volunteers of America works at the forefront to help serve the more than 650,000 prisoners returning each year. The organization develops innovative community-based programs that help reduce recidivism, create safer neighborhoods, reduce crime and ensure the successful re-integration of ex-offenders into their home communities.
http://www.voa.org/Media-Center/Press_Kit/Fact-Sheets/Corrections-Fact-Sheets/default.aspx

One such way is by tutoring those who have been released so they can earn a high-school G.E.D., and potentially get a job.

Although the fruit of my efforts to teach Christ and encourage personal discovery of faith were not realized while I was incarcerated, God was able to use me in ways I never expected, through teaching physical fitness, and by tutoring. I watched as one 45 year-old man walked out on his release date to the loving arms of his two teenage children, and while in tears he was able to explain how he made the time useful - by earning a GED. Even though I could not hear what was said, I could see the pride for their father. What he did as a crime to earn prison time, God was able to use to provide healing, and a fresh start.

I am no longer content with investing myself less,

and find I am only truly happy when I give of myself more,

especially in what God calls me to.

 

Can you hear Him calling to you?

 

What has He placed on your heart?


On Friday: A brief history of the legacy of love the early Christians left for us to emulate.

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