Too often we "play" church and treat it like a cruise ship rather than a battleship. We like to socialize with our friends and make new friends who will treat us nicely and care about us.
Yet, we waste our time on the flesh and the world, which makes us too busy to serve in church ministries, to care for the sick and infirmed in our church family, or to reach out into our community to make a friend and lead them to Christ.
When the offering plate comes around, we give God a tip from the change in our pocket rather than to give a tithe of our income, and we feel no remorse when we fail to give in the benevolence offering to help the needy in our church family and community.
We will not even bring canned goods to donate to the food bank in our area, or to join service organizations in our community who help to serve those less fortunate than we are.
We ignore those who are aliens in our community, who move here to find work to support their family; not knowing that if we did care for the needy, God could bless us in all the works which we find for our hands to do (Deuteronomy 14:29).
Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is to take care of orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep our self from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).
We can help the poor by meeting their need for food, shelter and clothing (1 Timothy 6:8); aid the widows by meeting their medical bills and doing chores that overwhelm them; and we can visit the imprisoned (Job 31:16; Matthew 25:36).
We can give Christmas presents to children at local group homes, take some of them to our home for monthly visits or out on a picnic, or we can take them to the pizza parlor for supper once a month (Job 31:17).
The possibilities for ministry in our church family and out in our community are endless, and ignoring these needs is unconscionable and despicable in the sight of the Lord (Matthew 7:24).
Father God, help us to learn to do good, to seek justice, to defend the orphan and to plead the case for our widows (Isaiah 1:17). Teach us to reprove the ruthless who take bribes or look for a reward for their service (Isaiah 1:23). Remind us that when we clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the imprisoned, we do it as our ministry to You (Matthew 25:36).
We do not want to live as hearers of Your Word only, but we want to put feet to our faith and to earn our righteous rewards by keeping Your law and serving our church family and community (James 1:22; Romans 2:13). Let us prove our faith in You by our works for You (James 2:14).
Thought for the Day:
The Lord protects strangers, supports single mom's and their children, and cares for the needs of widows; but He resists the wicked and thwarts those who "play" church rather than minister to the needy in their community. Let us join Him in His Kingdom work. - Psalm 146:9