How brightly is your light shining?

I read this Scripture today and it made me think about compassion:

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16.

People are not impressed by a churches attendance, staff, growth or buildings. Jesus says there is one force in this dark world that can shed light in a dark world. That force is the local church, the people.

What impresses or impacts people is feeding the hungry, helping the homeless, doing house repairs, helping someone move, visiting someone in the nursing home, helping people in financial trouble, reaching out to those that are hurting and blessing the life of someone else. That gets peoples attention.

The early church in Acts 2, attracted some of the most undesirable, helpless people. They eventually overpowered the world and are still growing today.

So, how brightly is your light shining? How brightly is our churches light shining? Are you involved in activities that will cause someone to say what a good God there is? Maybe your wattage is dim – 25 watts instead of 100 watts.

I am talking about acts of compassion. Many of us like to think we are compassionate, but thinking and doing are two different things. Here are three reasons to engage in acts of compassion:

1. When you let your light shine to others, it will change you.

Think about that. What causes authentic joy in most people? Is it having more money, eating chocolate, nice clothes? Think about this; if you would do something that is pleasurable for you personally like going shopping or tinkering in your workshop and then do something for someone else like rake your elderly neighbors yard or help build a ramp for a handicapped person, what brings more joy. For most people it when we help someone in need.

When people focus on others they are happy, when people focus on themselves they get depressed. I spoke with a guy last week and he shared that the most meaningful time in his life was when he went on a short-term mission trip with his church. That was when he felt most alive and full of joy.

2. You change the world one person at a time.

How can you touch the life of someone? It may be your neighbor, it may be a family you know is in need. There are a lot of people in this world that have next to nothing. Here is a challenge for you. Take one meal and eat only rice. As you eat the rice think about the many people that only have rice to eat every meal. Maybe you can donate food to one of the local food pantries. I am involved with the Greater Dover/NewPhila food pantry at the Dover Salvation Army. We are supplying food to people every Friday. There are food pantries in Uhrichsville, Newcomerstown and Millersburg. Everyone can start right now by doing acts of compassion for one person this week.

I remember some of the people we helped on our huricane Katrina relief trips. I saw the smiles on their faces and the tears in their eyes. That is helping one person at a time.

3. It does something to the heart of God, it blesses God!

Jesus said whatever you did for the least of these you did for me. God loves it when we give and show compassion to other people.

Have you turned any heads lately by simply giving without expecting anything in return. Many people start out with good intentions, but then get busy and preoccupied and forget about all those people out there. We can forget we are in the people saving business. God wants people that are willing to go into the life saving business. He wants churches that are outward focused and shining brightly in their communities and around the world.

I so glad I am part of a church that is reaching out and shining brightly. Every person that calls NewPointe their home church can make a difference in someones life. Think about how you can show compassion to those around you. Be watching for opportunities to help reach out to the world through NewPointe or your own church.

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