Thursday, August 27, 2009

Combating Homelessness

Skid Row, Los AngelesImage via Wikipedia

LAST WEEK ELEVEN from our church family (7 youth, 4 adults) traveled to southern California to serve at the Los Angeles Dream Center. It was a week that truly impacted each one of us. We started our week in a light-hearted fashion by spending a day at Disneyland, that place where dreams come true, and then spent the rest of the week experiencing the ministry of the Dream Center as they endevor to help those whose dreams have been shattered by homelessness, drugs, abuse, crime and the other destructive epidemics that ravaged the inner-city.

Our sermon passage this week is found in John 14:15-31. And in many ways relates to the realities that we experienced last week while we were serving on the streets of L.A. I believe one of the greatest fears I possess is that of being homeless, but as I was reminded last week, homelessness goes far beyond not having a roof over your head.

In reading through this portion of Scripture I was reminded that there is a marked difference between being home-less and being house-less. Being house-less is an issue of "location." Being home-less is an issue of the heart.

In speaking peace to His disciples, Jesus reminds them that they shall not be left as orphans, those without both house and home, but rather he was sending to them the Holy Spirit (John 14:16) and that He and the Father would also make there home within them. (John 14:23) In this passage we are reminded that homelessness is so much more than being without a place to live, and we are reminded of what is needed to insure that a person can be at home even if forced to live under a bridge.

To find our home with the Heavenly Father requires that with live in relationship with Him and this relationship involves keeping His commands (John 14:15), namely, to love the LORD with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Matthew 22:38) and to love your neighbor as Jesus has loved us. (John 13:34-35)

As we continue to live out the life of love in and through and by the Person of Jesus Christ, let us continue to do what we can to combat house-less-ness, but also let us combat the deeper need of bringing people home to the Savior, for this is the greatest need.

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1 comment:

The messenger said...

Revelation I got from God about my life after returning from Sedona,Az.

I found myself on a mountain at the end of my rope. Before me appeared a much larger rope that led as far as the eye could see. I had been climbing the rope that I was on for so long and it seemed to lead no where. Sometimes the climb was easy,sometimes it was hard,but it never seemed to get me anywhere. After much struggle with the rope I was on,one day I took a leap of "Faith" and grabbed onto the much larger rope. I started climbing and a change came over me. The higher I got, the stronger I got.At the same time,I became more frightened for fear of falling. I stopped a few times to catch my breath but felt compelled to keep climbing. Then I noticed the more I climbed,the less afraid I became. When I looked up, I could see the top of the mountain,I was in the clouds. I had almost reached the top. My heart was pounding my energy was high and I notice there had been a change in me that had taken place. I reach the top and stood up. What I saw, was the most incredible view I had ever seen. My mind was clear and taking in all the beauty around me. My heart was so soft,I wanted to cry. My soul had been changed and I felt like a new person. I would never look at my life the same. I reflected on the rope that I had spent my whole life on and wondered why I thought that the rope I was on would lead me to happiness. After trying to absorb this overwhelming quest, I all the sudden felt a great desire to climb back down the rope and tell others what I had experienced. As I climbed down,I saw other people on the rope. Some were up high and some had just started the climb. But many people were right in the middle not moving. Not going up nor going back down. When I got to the beginning of the rope, I started telling everyone that would listen to me about the rope that led to the top. Most people wouldn't listen to what I had to say. They were so content with climbing their own rope, which I knew would lead them no where for I had been climbing the same type of rope for so many years. Some people saw the rope I was on but were to afraid to make the leap of "Faith". They were afraid of falling. I noticed that while telling people about the rope,the place seemed dark and cold. It was until I saw the light on the mountain top that I could distinguish the difference. The individual ropes that we climb represents us living our own life trying to achieve fame,fortune and success on our own. Living life to satisfy ourselves. The leap to the other rope is the leap of "Faith" when we surrender our lives to Jesus. Give your life and Receive eternal life. The rope of life represents the hand of God.Climb it diligently and always know....God will never let you fall. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Jesus has his hand out. Grab hold of him! The climb represents the struggles that we endure. God will give you the Holy Spirit to comfort you and encourage you on your climb+++ When you reach the top of the mountain,the scales fall off your eyes. You have achieved eternal life You acknowledge that you have been Born Again and you got to go tell someone!!! The people that stop on the rope and become comfortable, represent the Luke warm Christian that God will spew out of his mouth. One is either in the dark or in the light. There is nothing in between. If you are by the door in the dark....your still in the dark. The Lord wants us to have a great passion for him and be on fire for him. When you are in the dark,your eyes adjust. When most everyone around you is in darkness,you don't know your in the dark. It is only when you step into the light that you realize what a dark place you were in. I pray that this will encourage you and others to seek the lord. Love thy Lord God with all your Heart,Soul,Mind and Strength. Please allow me to share with you HOW to love our Lord God with all your heart,soul,mind and strength.

Ray Baker