- Text: Gal. 6:2.
- Jesus "went about doing good" (Ac. 10:38) -- He was actively concerned about the sick, the dying, the bereaved, the lonely, the downtrodden, the despised, the poor, the aged, and the children.
- We cannot be Christ-like without caring and sharing with those around us.
I. Caring and Sharing Are Vital Parts of Being a Christian
- There is a positive as well as a negative side to "pure and undefiled religion" (Jas. 1:27).
- "Benevolence" means "good will," but it involves more than sentiment -- faith alone will not save us - Jas. 2:14-17.
- The early disciples were often strikingly generous in their caring and sharing - Ac. 2:44,45; 4:32-37. Cf. Eph. 4:28.
- Giving of ourselves to others is an outgrowth of having given ourselves to the Lord - 2 Cor. 8:5.
- Sharing with others -- whether of time, money, talents, or concern -- is a part of being grateful for our own blessings. None of us has anything that was not given to us by the Lord - 1 Cor. 4:7.
- Our destiny has much to do with whether we have served the needs of others in His name - Mt. 25:31-46. Cf. Tit. 3:8,14.
- We must not allow ourselves to "grow weary while doing good" (Gal. 6:9,10). Cf. 2 Thess. 3:13.
II. Real Involvement with Others Is Not Easy in Our Culture
- Our culture tends to promote self-centeredness rather than unselfishness (which is the prime requirement for genuine caring and sharing).
- Modern life also tends to cut us off and isolate us from those around us.
- Christ-like involvement and service require a deliberate effort to resist these influences.
III. We Need to Care for Those Whom God Cares For
- We are literally surrounded by hurting, desperate souls who do not know that anyone cares for them. Cf. Psa. 142:4.
- At the cross, God was saying, "This is how much I care."
- Are we willing to sacrifice and care for any person whom God cares about, no matter how "unlikable" the may be?
- Are we agents through whom those around us come to know that God loves and cares for them?
IV. Our Ultimate Aim Is to Share the Gospel with As Many As Possible
- The "social gospel" is a perversion of the gospel of Christ.
- We are to do more than merely make this world a better place to live.
- All the other help we can give people will be of little significance if they end up losing their souls - Mt. 16:26.
- So we should most of all want to share the gospel.
- But personal evangelism should not be a "hidden agenda" with us.
- The problem of being lost is the most important problem we ought to want to help people with, the one we ought to be trying to get a chance to work on regardless of what other help we may be able to render. Cf. Ac. 3:6.
- However, the temporal help we give ought not to be contingent on whether our spiritual help is accepted.
- We ought to be eager to help others in whatever ways they will allow us.
- There is also this to think about: we often have to earn the right to be heard, and active service to our fellow man can open doors of opportunity for the gospel.
- People don't care how much we know until they know how much we care.
- "He has the right to teach who has the heart to care" (Abraham Lincoln).
V. Neglecting to Help Is a Serious Error
- There may be many reasons why we fail to involve ourselves with others (thoughtlessness, lack of time, inconvenience, fear).
- But whatever the reason, neglecting to serve the needs of others can end up being the same as cruelty - Lk. 10:30-37.
- "I expect to pass this way but once; any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again" (Etienne De Grellet).
- We may think we have little to offer others and little opportunity to help -- but that underestimates what God is able to do through us - 2 Cor. 9:8.
- The important thing is to do what we can do - Mk. 14:8,9. Cf. Mk. 12:41-44.
- We need to care and share cheerfully - 2 Cor. 9:6,7. Cf. Rom. 12:8.
- Our caring and sharing are powerful ways the Lord influences those around us -- "Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today."
- We need to experience the truth of the Lord's saying: "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Ac. 20:35).
Gary Henry - WordPoints.com + AreYouaChristian.com