Not a Big Splash - Episode 10-23, June 1, 2020

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By Richard Agee and Richard Agee. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Join us as we explore God’s ancient wisdom and apply it to our modern lives. His word is as current and relevant today as it was when he inspired its authors more than two and a half millennia ago. The websites where you can reach us are alittlewalkwithgod.com, richardagee.com, or saf.church.

I hope you will join us every week and be sure to let us know how you enjoy the podcast and let others know about it, too. Thanks for listening.

Thanks for joining me today for "A Little Walk with God." I'm your host Richard Agee.

If you are like me, you probably can't help but read at least some of the news every day about what's happening around the world with this pandemic. Here we are with over 100,000 deaths in the US. It's a little hard to believe something like this would happen in our lifetime with all the advancements in medical care, but we face it every day. And the end still reaches out in front of us with a predicted second wave in just a few short months.

I'm encouraged by some of the news, though. I read a few stories about celebrities giving hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars to feed those less fortunate. Those left without jobs as a result of businesses closing to stem the tide of the viral spread. It's great to see those stories sneak into the overwhelming number of bad news articles of gloom and doom that bombard us every day.

What I find most fascinating from today's news, though, is the almost total absence of the little things that neighbors and strangers do in small ways to help each other in this crisis. We tout the big splash people we don't expect to share their wealth when they do so but never talk about the millions of those who generously share every day, easing the suffering of those around them.

As an associate pastor, I get to watch the actions of my church and its members as they share their lives. A food pantry serves almost four hundred families a week with dry goods, produces, and baked items for a family of four. Hopefully, we will be able to again open the clothing pantry, job assistance, and life skills classes like GED completion when some of the social separation restrictions ease.

I see stories of members making meals for shut-ins, providing contact and comfort for those who have lost friends and loved ones, and cannot grieve as we could before the COVID restrictions in hospital and funeral settings. I hear about drive-by birthday parties and graduation celebrations. I watch zoom groups connect just to share with each other and make sure we are all okay mentally and physically throughout the week. Food at a neighbor's door. A yard randomly mowed. Flowers left on a doorstep. Cards zipping through the mail. Tokens of gratitude showing up through Amazon deliveries. Dozens of small, seemingly insignificant acts that brighten the day of another person that extends the love of Christ.

Those names will never make the news. Their acts of kindness will go unnoticed by the general public. CNN will not put a camera or a microphone in front of them and marvel at their generosity and splash their picture across the Mega Screen in Times Square. But God takes not of every act we do. Paul enumerates the responsibilities of those reborn in his letter to the church in Rome.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;

Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.

Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; (Romans 8:9-16 NIV)

One word sums up our responsibility. Love. Jesus gave us two commands that engulf the rest of what we should do as citizens of his kingdom. Love God and love others. That's it. He went on to say we can't love God, who we can't see, if we don't love others we can see.

The unusual conditions we face today present an incredible opportunity for Christians to show what it means to love God. Loving him means we must love others, too. Jesus said it. He understood it and demonstrated it for the thirty-plus years he lived with us. We certainly make mistakes in how we present ourselves as Christians from time to time, but now is an excellent time just to show those around us that we care.

Find ways to connect. Take a meal to a neighbor and leave it on their doorstep. Ring the bell and go. We don't need credit for doing God's work. We don't need our names in the paper or CNN showing up. All I care about is that my name is written in the Book of Life. But because of everything he has done for me, doesn't he deserve my giving something in return?

It's interesting when you look at some statistics. Congress continually talks about wanting to help those in need through legislation and programs. The average income in the Senate is just over $2M a year and in the House, just over $1.5M a year. Yet their charitable giving according to their tax records average less than 2%. So I guess they just want to help with our money, not theirs. Because middle-income charitable giving hovers closer to 10%, I sometimes wonder where our elected officials' hearts are. Do they really want to help, or do they want to get votes from those with a heart to help? It does raise an interesting question.

Should we look at Paul's description of our responsibilities again? Perhaps it will encourage you to be different in this new normal we face. Some things have changed for the better because of our separation from the hustle and bustle of life. Maybe we can focus on what we should do as the body of Christ as some of the constraints lift in the coming days. Listen again and let Paul's words settle not just in your mind and heart, but in your hands and feet as you daily work as for the Lord.

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good;

Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.

Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.

Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.

Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; (Romans 8:9-16 NIV)

You can find me at richardagee.com. I also invite you to join us at San Antonio First Church of the Nazarene on West Avenue in San Antonio to hear more Bible-based teaching. You can find out more about my church at SAF.church. Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed it, tell a friend. If you didn't, send me an email and let me know how better to reach out to those around you. Until next week, may God richly bless you as you venture into His story each day.

Scriptures marked NIV are taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV): Scripture is taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™. Used by permission of Zondervan

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