Last week, Ron Hall and Denver Moore, co-authors of Same Kind of Different As Me, were guests at Pantego Bible Church. Not surprisingly, their reflection on the journey that God placed both of them on was an incredible inspiration to everyone who heard them.
One comment that stuck with me was the charge not to simply "tell people about God, but show them God!" Without minimizing Gospel proclamation, the speakers reminded me that the greatest Gospel is the one with flesh on it. The message of Jesus wasn't just words, but life.
This week, preaching from Micah 6:6-8, we will conclude our "Down & Out" series with several practical tips to reach beyond to our neighbors in need. The most important principle is "Do the next best thing." I mentioned this several weeks ago. It's a motto that sums up my limited research and experiences among the poor during the last several months. I've learned that there are very few rules, no sure-fire fixes, no tidy protocols, very little that any of us can count on. Each person and problem is unique. Therefore, my response can never be prepackaged or pat. To be a true blessing, I must discern the best thing, relying on the wisdom of God who sees all. I must not attempt to see to the end (how can I fix the problem) but just look to how I can help in the "next" thing. Then, I just "do it."
I am moved by the words of Gary Haugen, president and CEO of the International Justice Mission. In his book, Just Courage, he writes, “It seems that we cannot rid ourselves of this primal, unquenchable yearning to make our lives matter. By divine hard wiring, we desperately want our lives to count—really, significantly count— for God’s rescuing work in the world." He continues later, "I believe many Christians are yearning to walk in a pathway to courage. They yearn for liberation from small and trivial things and to experience the passion and power of God on the more jagged edges of faith, where true glory lies.”
I have a yearning, an aching to make a difference. I don't want to leave a tiny legacy of insignificant things. So, I am trusting God to give me courageous faith to go beyond. To not just preach Jesus but proclaim Jesus with my life. I don't know where this leads. But, I look forward to doing "the next best thing."