I read a bible and I believe in the words of this book with my whole heart, but do I always do what it tells me to do? For example: God's word tells us not to gossip! This exhortation is not subjective, don't gossip, end of story. Do I gossip? I try not to, but just a few weeks ago I found myself having to apologize to five ladies that I had gossiped to. That would be a hypocrite! So yes, I am one. So, what is a person to do? I used to think I had to wait until I was pure and holy to start doing good. My thought process was a little off..become good, then do good. Where is grace in that?
I heard it said last Sunday that grace is the empowerment to do God's will. So, it is actually the opposite of my old thinking. When we truy receive God's grace it exposes our sin and depravity and also humbles us. When we are filled with His immeasurable grace and mercy it begins to catapult us into motion into helping others. If we are "being good"(hypocritical), we think we are so good and why don't others just get with it! The ONLY thing that moves me toward the suffering is seeing my own depravity and then seeing the grace of God flowing down to me even though I am depraved. I feel special, God gives me favor, He fills me with his liquid love that I cannot contain inside, I HAVE to give it out to others that are in need of a grace too. This is not something to be kept to oneself, if you do try and hoard His grace, it stops flowing, it dries up and leaves us feeling empty, only to try and fill up on things that will only temporarily fill, but always run dry! The more I give, the more I receive.
So, this weekend Faith that Works reached out to tent city in downtown St. Louis. We took a group of individuals along with water, food, blankets, and toiletries. Our group was blessed, again being filled while we were filing another's cup. One young man that went with us commented, "Everyone needs to see this." I won't go into details about the suffering or exploit this precious community with photos, but all i can say is the name of the town is named Hopeville by it's residents. Who I am to question how they got there, or why they stay. Who am I to pass judgement? There are veterans of war there that fought for my freedom, there is a cross in the middle of the tents, amercian flags flying in front of different individuals tents. These are people, with stories, with hearts, with dreams, in need of a little grace. Here is what God says about this:
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
|Proverbs 31:20 |
The Proverbs 31 Woman:
She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy.