The current disaster in Haiti calls out to my heart and reminds me that God wants us to give to others and share our lives with them. Jesus was sent to share God’s love and die for us, being that we are completely broken and fully deserving death.
It’s interesting to realize that Jesus’ love was a new kind of love; this love was completely selfless. He died for our own good, and He had nothing to gain. I have been reflecting on this for the past few weeks, believing that God has laid it on my heart. It is easy to view our lives as a series of inputs and outputs, believing that “I input ________, therefore I will receive _______.” Even in Christian circles this idea is enforced, though it is not what Jesus taught. For the purpose of an example, I will use money: I grew up believing that if I gave 10% of my income (tithe) to God, it was a) what I was supposed to do, and b) a way to get blessed by God. This all sounds okay and logical until one realizes that the love of God is supposed to fuel all that we do (Luke 10:27), and that His love is all about serving someone else, not getting something out of it (Phil. 2:3). Therefore, a tithe is an offering to God, all about realizing that we can do nothing to save ourselves from our own wickedness, but that by giving everything we have to God, we can ensure that He lives and works in us and through us. (And the 10% guideline is probably debatable/not as important as we think)
God reaches out to us in His mercy; if we really are to let His mercy extend through us, then we must give when we see need. I struggle sometimes with knowing if God is “telling” me to give, but really, it’s not so confusing as that. It says in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.” When Christ returns, will He find the fruit of His Spirit on the Earth? I want to be one who propagates the manifestation of His Kingdom, and this can only happen by stepping out in faith – in this case, trusting Him and giving with a sincere heart, knowing that I have already been blessed beyond earthly physical measures through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus.
a couple links:
Crisis Response International – being that I share many of their values, I’m considering donating to this organization; they’re a non-profit based in Kansas City, MO. You can read more about them on their site
The Kelly’s Adoption Blog – these are good friends of mine and Willy’s who serve at the International House of Prayer. Read their post “Redemption;” it inspired my thinking on selfless servanthood