Sunday, July 17, 2016

Prove It!

Okay, it's been nearly a year since I've written a new post.  I've been making podcasts in my 12 passenger van and running around chasing all my children that seem to keep multiplying before my eyes!  When I wrote my first book, Hear Me my "about the author" piece stated we had four children.  Then my second book said we had 6.  Book number three showed that we'd grown to eight and book number four, due out in 2017, should say something about the NINE children we have!  Whew!  But I'm back because I have something I need to say.

I just posted podcast about the racial tension in our country and picking sides .  Then this morning I was scrolling through Facebook and saw a meme that said, "2000 years ago Jesus solved the debate about which lives matter.  He died for all." What do I do with that?! 

Now wait a minute Christian,  I think we have much more to offer to this conversation than these words.  Do we post things like that and assume we are really making a difference and living the Christian faith? Are we so distracted by "religious" quotes that we miss the big picture?   We have to be careful not to fall into traps that make us feel like we're accomplishing something meaningful while remaining completely uninvolved and detached from the world around us.

James 2:14-17 NKJV says, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?   If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,  and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

This very idea is what motivated my husband to ultimately say yes to being a foster parent.  It was one thing to see the need but another to sacrifice our comfort and get our hands dirty by living out our faith by works.  I can't say he was exactly kicking and screaming, but my husband certainly did not want to have anything to do with government run institutions.  But that's where the need has been.  In all honesty it would have been much easier to help in some other way...doing something that did not include the "ugly" that comes along with the good and bad of foster care.  I had children young and today my youngest birth child turned 19.  I could potentially be an empty nester or at the least have a house full of completely competent adults who can fend for themselves.  That would have been easier.  I could have written all sorts of little snippets about the challenges of raising children while resting comfortably on the other side of the chaos, but God requires more from us.  He's not calling everyone to do foster care, but He does call us all to DO and make a difference in our homes, in our churches, in our communities and the world! 

Jesus explained to His disciples how it was going to be at the end of the age, when the sheep were separated from the goats.  He said, "for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
Matthew 25:35-40 NKJV

Is it really helpful to say we are Christians and make comments like the one above but put no action to our words?  Let our actions show what we believe.  If we believe Jesus solved that debate, which I think we do, and that He died for all, which He did, then let our actions PROVE what we believe. PROVE that you are a follower of Christ by your love for others.  PROVE that you belong to the Lord by your deeds.  PROVE your faith and, as the saying goes,  if you have to...use words.