On Friday, September 1st, the President of the United States declared that this Sunday (Sep 3rd) would be a national day of prayer in honor of Texans and others affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“From the beginning of our nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need to ask for God’s blessing and God’s guidance. When we look across Texas and Louisiana, we see the American spirit of service embodied by countless men and women…. We invite all Americans to join us as we continue to pray for those who have lost family members and friends, and for those who are suffering from this great crisis.” – President Trump
The President made this declaration while meeting with leaders from the North American Mission Board (NAMB), the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army. Despite any political differences that we may hold, I think we can all agree that this is an appropriate response to a great crisis that we are facing in our country. But not everyone agrees.
The thing is, anytime we state a position as a leader, there will always be those that make it their mission to be critical. It happens to our president, it has happened to all of our past presidents at one time or another … it even happens within the church.
I have heard some say that we, as Southern Baptists, are only helping disaster victims so that we can share the gospel with the people affected. While it is true that our primary mission is to share the love of Jesus with those whom we are serving… and that we strive to demonstrate that in speech and in deed … it isn’t the only reason we do so.
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ – Matthew 25:40
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. 11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” – Luke 3:10-11
We serve others because it is the right thing to so…. Because God has asked us to… He expects us to… He wants to bless us through the process. And if the only criticism that we receive is that we are helping so that we can share the Gospel… then so be it. I will take that criticism all day long!
So what are we doing to help… I am glad you asked:
- We are being patient – the Send Relief chapter of NAMB has asked us to be patient while they set up locations and projects for Disaster Relief teams. We will do so.
- We are praying – we will pray consistently for those who are in need.
- We are giving – the most immediate way to give is to text SENDRELIEF to 41444. Our youth group is collecting funds on Wednesday nights. There will also be future opportunities to give in other ways.
- We will go – there will be multiple opportunities to go. Start praying now that you may be able to go when the time comes.
I love you all – Pastor John