Sunday, September 27, 2015

Charity - Love in Action

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or tinkling cymbal. I Corinthians 13:1

Our Sunday School teacher challenged us to not only read I Corinthians 13, but study it, understand it, make it apply to our lives. He defined charity as love in action. I took the challenge and read the chapter, then I began to go back and look at each verse individually.

Sometimes as I sit at my dining room table I can hear the tinkle of wind chimes out on the deck. It seems a pleasant sound at the first, but the more it sounds the more annoying it becomes. It annoys the birds as well. They don't visit the feeder as much if the chimes are sounding. The more the wind blows, the louder the chimes, the fewer the birds. Sure the wind has something to do with the birds not coming to the feeder, but loud noises also keep birds away.

In Matthew 13:31 Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a mustard seed, which is the smallest of seeds but when it is grown the birds come and lodge in it. Here in our area, the mustard plant is a small thing we pick and cook as greens, but in the dry climate of the middle east the mustard seed will grow into a bush where the birds come and lodge. Lodge - what picture does that bring to mind? If we find lodging we expect food and shelter. Birds are a lot like us. They flock to places where they can find shelter and nourishment, a place to raise their young. Birds are driven away by noises, regardless of the food, water and shelter offered them.

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels.... though I sound so eloquent and have not charity - no love in action, I am like the annoying sounds of brass and the constant tinkling of cymbals. In other words, Christians who are always sounding out against things are scaring off the very flocks they seek to attract. The stronger the storms, the louder the noise, the more the flocks scatter.

People don't want to know what you are against. They want to know what you as a Christian are for. Are you for them? Do you care about the storms they are facing? Are you willing to reach out and help? Jesus reached out to help people who did not know him - the man with the withered hand, the lame man, a blind man, people who were hungry. Because He was willing to reach out, He gained believers.

May we all open the doors to our War Rooms and seek God's face as to whom we need to be ministering, to whom we need to show love in our actions. May we let people, all people know we are for them and so is God. We can hate the sin, but we must love the sinner.

Father, Help me be a calming voice connected to loving arms to hold the trembling in life's storms. In Jesus name. Amen.

Hey Kids:
Do you know someone who needs a friend? What about someone who needs help? Are there people to whom you could show love? Why not ask the Lord whom He would have you reach out to.

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