Thursday, July 18 2024 - 1:13 PM

Sharing Scripture — December 16, 2023

Mission to the Unreached: Part 2

 

For use: December 10 – 16, 2023
Texts: 1 Kings 11:1–6; Matthew 4:23–25; 8:10, 13; 15:22–28; 25:31–46; Mark 7:24–30; Acts 10:34, 35

 

A rebel took to the streets. He recruited others to join him. They roamed the hood and challenged authority.

Community leaders feared them. Religious leaders abhorred them. “We have to get them off the streets!” they said.

But they weren’t part of a gang spreading hate and terror … they were spreading love.

Jesus was wrongly judged.

He gets us.

All of us.

The monologue voiceovers greyscale photographs of tattooed gang members, juvenile skateboarders, and faceless hooded youth. In a powerful turn of events, the short film ends on a photograph of these very people offering food to the unhoused.

The 31-second video, titled The Rebel, was produced and published by He Gets Us, a movement which aims to “reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness.” There is no church, denominational, or political affiliation. He Gets Us is just a group of people passionate about sharing the love of Jesus and inspiring others to do the same.

Another group of Christians acting in love came together in June to host an annual free dental clinic at Crestview Christian School in Moses Lake, Washington. Volunteer dentist Paul Kwon shared with the Columbia Basin Herald, “Service – I feel like it’s our calling.”

Meanwhile, small business owner Thea Enos donates goods and services to local churches, hoping the churches can, in turn, use those to aid the local poor and unhoused in East County, Oregon. She also collects donations to be turned over to Free the Girls, Zarephath Pantry and the Center for Advanced Learning.

The methods of answering the call in Matthew 25:31-46 and James 1:19-27 take many forms, but the common thread is acting in love, through faith, what Jesus asks us to, and not for our own glory but to the glory of God.

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: Watch The Rebel. How does the film make you feel?

Sharing: How can we minister to the spiritual needs of poor and needy while also addressing their physical needs?

  1. By following guidelines such as those found in 1 Timothy 5:3-16
  2. Each case is different; the Holy Spirit will guide us once through the process
  3. First we must gain their trust through meeting their physical needs
  4. We just act in love; God will do the rest
  5. Host more community outreach events via the church/congregation
  6. Other:

Applying: Do you operate on faith, or belief? What does the difference mean to you? Devote time per day to ask God to help you act in love by faith.

Valuing: Review what Jesus asks of His followers in Matthew 25:31-46, and then review the human prejudices He rejected in Matthew 15:22-28 and Luke 8:43-48. What personal prejudices keep you from the acts of faith listed in Matthew 25:31-46?

~ Stefani Leeper


Before you go…

 

If we’ve learned anything from our friend the Grinch, it’s that there’s much more to Christmas than exchanging gifts. Caring for others (and thereby spreading holiday cheer), is more in the spirit of Christmas than pricey gifts and snowy treetops. Once he realized this, he became a much healthier … uh, being!

Christ was born because God loves us, and though Christ didn’t overthrow human government or bless every one of God’s children with exorbitant wealth, Christ’s gift to us was spiritual healing.

That’s something we, and the Grinch, can all work toward mirroring this and every season.

And we hope that together with you we can share in the spirit of generosity. When we work together, we can provide the Center for Creative Ministry’s resources to more people seeking answers and study aids.

You are the frontline provider of significant ministry in your local congregation and wherever you serve, and we appreciate and applaud you for that. You’re also our frontline provider.

Many of our resources are now being shared with you at no cost, but it does cost us something to produce them. Your gift would help us tremendously. And if you gave, maybe you would see it as another way to identify with the Center, because it is your ministry. It would also be another way to spread holiday cheer.

If you are wondering how you can continue supporting this ministry and impact others with its resources, would you consider offering them a Christmas gift by submitting a one-time donation via PayPal @C4CreativeMinistry (https://paypal.me/C4CreativeMinistry)?

You could also mail a check to:

Center for Creative Ministry
Box 573
Milton-Freewater, OR 97862

Your donations ensure that your ministry continues both in your hands and the hands of thousands of others.

We need your help and we need your prayers that God will continue to lead us as we deal with new realities.

Thank you,

The Center for Creative Ministry Team

The Center for Creative Ministry is fully recognized by the North American Division (NAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church; it is also a 501c3 nonprofit organization which makes donations tax deductible in the U.S.

 

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