No Earthly Good

Ever hear the phrase “They are so heavenly bound that they are no earthly good?”  I heard it years ago in relation to the disconnect between many Christians and the clear biblical call to serve others.   I’ve spent most of my life so far kicking around various parts of the evangelical movement and am ashamed to say that for the most part there is a pervasive attitude of disregard for those in need.

Far too often evangelical Christians have focused on being all about “winning souls” and have turned a large obvious blind eye to those same people’s physical and emotional needs.   That blind eye has missed more than one black eye, empty stomach or threadbare knee and in doing so has soiled the name of Christ and Christianity.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”.    Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)

We are HIS workmanship created for good works.  Not good prayers or well-intentioned thoughts or even good charitable donations.  We are created for works.   We are to be showing the love of Christ to everyone, now just the easy or convenient, but I would argue particularly to the difficult and the inconvenient.

If we are not displaced and discomforted in our service to others at some point, even inconvenienced, then maybe we aren’t doing it right.   We gain nothing if we overlook the stark immediate needs of people in some chase for a salvation score we miss the chance to “give a cup of cold water” (Mark 9:41, Matthew 10:42).

Christian service is not for the meek or the timid, it requires the guts to say you will go and minister, to love on, someone others wouldn’t be seen around.  It requires you to strip away your pride of being self conscious and worry about what others might think and instead focus on what God thinks.   For us to be of any use to the heavenly kingdom we have to make a concerted and focused effort at being useful here on earth.

It takes more than block parties and VBS cookouts to reach the needy.   I contend that the church will not experience true renaissance and revival until it begins to minister on terms and levels that the world around us not only can understand but craves.  It’s not enough to pray for the hungry and the homeless, the church needs to end hunger.  The evangelical church needs to be on the forefront of practicing what it preaches.  Want to end teen pregnancy in your community?  Step up and mentor young women.   Want to do something about kids without a loving home?  Step up and adopt a child.  High school dropout rate too high?  Open your church for an after school drop in center with homework help and positive youth activities.  Dislike the level of unemployment in your area?  Step up and offer real and meaningful help to out of work people ranging from the basic needs of food, shelter and warmth but also computer skills, resume writing and mock interviewing.  Make sure they have a decent set of clothes to go on that interview with.

Make a difference.

Until we as the church stop standing on the sidelines and step out into the fray, down into the mud and the dirt of everyday messy lives of our neighbors and fellow community members, we will not see our churches filled and the Spirit moving among us.

The world needs not just a cup of cold water, but gallons and gallons of it and we are the ones who need to be taking it to them.  Until we do our churches will remain parched and dry and we will be no earthly good.

“Have we failed again
Talking about the love of God
But judging those who need it most?

All these afflicted ones
I feel their lives just fade away
Left to face the end alone

So we say a prayer for their needs
Afraid to touch, to hurt, to bleed

Do you feel their pain
Has it touched your life
Can you taste the salt
In the tears they cry
Will you love them more
Than the hate that’s been
Will you love them back
To life again

We should feel ashamed
Allowing fear to close our minds
These are lives we can’t ignore

Oh don’t turn away
Will you see Jesus in each of them
These are souls He suffered for

There is hope for them
Open up your heart
There is grace for them
Do you think we’ve gone too far

Do you feel their pain
Has it touched your life
Can you taste the salt
In the tears they cry
Will you love them more
Than the hate that’s been
Will you love them back
To life again

Oh empty eyes
And lonely souls
Starving for love
And crying for hope
And Jesus said
Bring them to Me
I will make them whole
I can set them free

Will you care for them
Or let them go alone
Will you lend a hand
Or will you cast the stone

Do you feel their pain
Has it touched your life
Can you taste the salt
In the tears they cry
Will you love them more
Than the hate that’s been
Will you love them back
To life again”

– “Do You Feel Their Pain” by Steve Camp

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About meicemen

Kind of ironic isn't it that you have to fit a few words about yourself into a small box..... I am so many things - a husband and father, an avid sports fan, coach, church planter in training. My blog A Million Points of Grace touches on many of these things that "make up me" and my Christian journey on this earth.
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