James 2:14-17

 

I do not believe I have to convince you that we live in a broken world. I believe that I need to convince each of us to serve a broken world even as we are broken.

We know we live in a broken world because we feel broken ourselves

When people are broken they feel that God does not love them. As a Christian we know the truth of God’s love but sometimes it is hard to feel. That is why we must rely on the Truth of God’s word and not our feelings. Feelings are deceptive. God’s Word does not lie. He is Truth.

 

When my mother was dying of cancer 14 years ago she questioned God’s love for her because of all the pain and suffering she was going through. I told her it was all Adam and Eve’s fault and there would be no pain in Heaven. I reminded her of God’s love and Jesus’ death on the Cross.

The feeling that God does not care because of the suffering we are enduring is very common. But we have to look at our pain and the suffering in the world in front of the backdrop of Jesus’ death on the Cross. God loves us and proved it at the Cross.

It is our job to let a broken and suffering world know the truth about God and His love for them.

It is hard sometimes to serve a broken world because you feel like you need served. But even in our distress God will give us the strength to serve others if we ask Him.

 

Let me illustrate from a story.

Sadhu Sundar Singh, a Hindu convert to Christianity, became a missionary to his people in India. Late one afternoon Sadhu was traveling on foot through the Himalayas with a Buddhist monk. It was bitterly cold and the wind felt like sharp blades slicing into their skins. Night was fast approaching when the monk warned Sadhu that they were in danger of freezing to death if they did not reach the monastery before darkness fell.

Suddenly, on a narrow path above a steep precipice, they heard a cry for help. At the foot of the cliff lay a man, fallen and badly hurt. The monk looked at Sadhu and said, “Do not stop. God has brought this man to his fate. He must work it out for himself. Let us hurry on before we, too, perish.”

But Sadhu replied, “God has sent me here to help my brother. I cannot abandon him.”

The monk continued trudging off through the whirling snow, while the missionary clambered down the steep embankment. The injured man’s leg was broken and he could not walk, so Sadhu made a sling of his blanket and tied the man on his back. With great difficulty he climbed back up the cliff, drenched by now in perspiration.

Doggedly, Sadhu made his way through the deepening snow and darkness. It was all he could do to follow the path. But he persevered, though faint with fatigue and overheated from exertion. Finally, he saw ahead the lights of the monastery.

Then, for the first time, Sadhu stumbled and nearly fell. But not from weakness. He had stumbled over an object lying in the snow-covered road. Slowly he bent down on one knee and brushed the snow off the object. It was the body of the monk, frozen to death.

“Do not stop. Let us hurry on before we, too, perish.”

Hurrying off by himself is what killed him. Sadhu was saved because the exertion and body heat of two kept them both alive.

 

You may be broken and need served, but that must not keep you from serving others.

The serving of others may just heal your brokenness.

 

We have to examine our attitudes about people who are broken and suffering.

The monk said, “God has brought this man to his fate. He must work it out for himself.”

But Sadhu replied, “God has sent me here to help my brother. I cannot abandon him.”

We say, “They have made their own bed now they must lay in it.

Or we say, “God has allowed me to see their need and I cannot abandon my brother.”

What is your attitude? Which would Jesus want us to say?

James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

 

Do not leave your brother in need.

 

Isaiah 58:6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. “If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

 

Maybe we never heal because we never really serve those in need like God has asked us.

 

Matthew 25:37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

 

Who are the ones in need that we can help?

 

Who are the broken in our community?

Homeless, working poor, distressed kids, ill, lonely seniors, prisoners and families, nursing home, divorces, grief stricken, families in the hospital, parents, marriages, etc.

 

Read the paper bad news is every where

Who do we want to help?

Write down who God has laid on your heart to minister to.

What needs of brokenness do you see? Who is the least that you can serve?

What ministry can we start to care for those in need? Let’s work together to see the need and meet the need.

 

We are not doing much – we are not doing enough locally.

Through our Missionaries we are reaching out to the poor and broken around the world.

 

Open Your Hearts – Mike Breidenbaugh

Hundred’s of prisoners

 

IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service) – Rick Jett, Executive Director

Relief to earthquake victims in Nepal

Floods in Bosnia, Haiti, India, Myanmar, Pakistan and E. Kentuky

Refugees in Iraq, Myanmar, Syria

Fires in Cambodia, India, South Sudan, Thailand

Typhoons in Philippines, India

To name a few

 

Asia Christian Services

Medical care and disaster support

Flood relief and Earthquake relief

 

Merendon Mountain Mission – Toby and Amy Hill

56 villages over 56,000 people But we need to get dirty locally. We need to invest more than just our money to help those in need.

 

We are joining forces with many other Christians and doing a lot.

But we need to get dirty locally. We need to invest more than just our money to help those in need.

We need to have a heart for the broken and weary in Franklin County.

 

 

A Friend in Need

A six-year-old boy, Willie, was thrilled when he received a dollar for losing a tooth.

In the morning, as Willie got ready for school, he tucked the bill in his pocket.

Afraid he might lose it, Mom suggested he leave the money at home.

“Mom, I have to take it with me,” Willie insisted. “Some of my friends don’t have enough money to buy chocolate milk.”

 

Let’s follow this 6 year olds example. Be excited to help someone in need, with your money and your time.

 

He saw the need and came up with a plan to meet the felt need of his friends.

 

This is why Jesus came. He came to serve the broken of this world. Ultimately serve all of us, because we are all broken by sin. He came to conquer the penalty of sin. He would first meet the felt needs by healing them of disease, and then tell them of God’s love.

 

At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry He read this passage in the Synagogue and said it had been fulfilled.

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

 

Jesus came to serve the poor, proclaim freedom and preach the good news. We should do the same.

 

Paul tells us his attitude toward the poor.

Galatians 2:9 James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. 10 All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.

 

Remember what James said?

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 

If we are not looking out for those in need we do not have acceptable religion.

We can do more than we are doing. What needs do you see? Let’s get busy.

We have to be challenged out of our comfort zone – maybe kicked out of our comfort zone.

What can you begin to do or your family and then invite the rest of us to join you in meeting the needs of others.

 

Do you know someone who is broken, someone you can help rescue like Sadhu did?

Put them on your back and carry them to safety.

You will have to risk your time and comfort to help, but it may just bring healing into your life as well.

 

Christian lets live like Jesus and look for broken people to serve.

 

Matthew 20:25 Jesus called them together and said, “27 …whoever wants to be first must be your slave– 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

 

If you are broken then you are the person Jesus died for. He loves you and wants you live in Him.

Will you come to Jesus today – let Him heal your broken pieces

Let Him give you the forgiveness of sin

Let Him fill you with God the Holy Spirit.

All you need to do is come

 

Come believing, repenting, and willing to be immersed into Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illustration:

Ruth went to her mail box and there was only one letter. She picked it up and looked at it before opening, but then she looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter:

Dear Ruth,

I’m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.

Love Always,

Jesus

Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. “Why would the Lord want to visit me? I’m nobody special. I don’t have anything to offer.” With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. “Oh, I really don’t have anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.” She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. “Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.” She threw on her coat and hurried out the door. A loaf of French bread, a half pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk… leaving Ruth with grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.

“Hey lady, can you help us, lady?” Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn’t even noticed two figures huddled in the alley way. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.

“Look lady, I ain’t got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s getting cold and we’re getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we’d really appreciate it.

“Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. “Sir, I’d like to help you, but I’m a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I’m having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.”

“Yeah, well, okay lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.”

The man put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley. As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart. “Sir, wait!” The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. “Look, why don’t you take this food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest.”   She handed the man her grocery bag. “Thank you lady. Thank you very much!” “Yes, thank you!” It was the man’s wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering. “You know, I’ve got another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one.” Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street… without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest.

“Thank you lady! Thank you very much!”

Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn’t have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. “That’s odd. The mailman doesn’t usually come twice in one day.” She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.

Dear Ruth,

It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you, too, for the beautiful coat.

Love Always,

Jesus

 

Ruth saw her brother in need and did not abandon him. She served Jesus.