Compassionate Acts – The Foretaste of Christ

 “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
   Rev. 21:3-4

We are the temples of God – the visible workings of Christ’s love on earth. When we minister in acts of mercy and compassion towards others, we bring a foretaste of God’s kingdom to earth as we help, “wipe every tear from their eyes.”  For many, our acts may be the first foretaste of God’s love that they have seen. We cannot heal a persons heart, or take away their pain, but we can provide a foretaste of the love of God by being the vessel to help them.
                     
We have been shown infinite, unmeasurable, grace and mercy. Grace is so often explained or defined as, “unmerited favor.” When we are helping others in need, we should be showing them the same favor – the same grace, that God has bestowed upon us. We help for the sake of love and only love, without any preconceived notions as to what the end result should be. We stand in the gap for just a moment, taking upon their pain if they will let us, to bear a burden with them. We give them a foretaste of what the love of God is like.

Luke 24:19 says of Jesus, “He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. ”  Jesus was dynamic in work, and as a result was not only blessed by God, but by others! He did not only speak the word – but mostly he acted in love. He touched blind eyes, he fed the hungry, healed the lepers, raised the dead, lifted the cripple, ministered to the hated, freed the oppressed, all without expectations.

Maybe by helping others, they will begin to, “taste and see that the Lord is good.” 

Why Volunteer? Better Health?

Could the following results be because as we are created in the image of God, in the image of Christ, therefore we are designed to do His service?

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.   Genesis 1:27

“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. ”  Col. 1:15a

 I posted a portion of an article I just read below,  and while reading it, I could not help but think about how many middle-aged and retired couples, have told me that their lives were changed forever as a result of disaster work. 

“A study tracking senior citizen volunteers has found that those who are primarily interested in helping others rather than trying to feel better about themselves are likelier to live longer.

Earlier research has found that those who volunteer are apt to live longer than those who don’t volunteer. But the new study, published in Health Psychology, suggests that those who volunteer with pure motives live longer than those concerned with self-oriented reasons. Research took other factors such as existing physical health into account.

Sara Konrath, lead author of the University of Michigan report, says altruistic volunteers – especially those who serve regularly and frequently – are at a lower risk for mortality. The study compared volunteers at age 65 and again at age 69.

While there isn’t anything necessarily bad about volunteering to advance one’s career, to escape problems or to increase self-esteem, such motives don’t lead to improved health, Konrath found. However, if a person’s goal is to help others, promote a sense of deep and lasting well-being, or to engage in service bigger than oneself, it can provide a healthy impact.”

I especially like the last statement, “…help others, promote a sense of deep and lasting well- being, or to engage in service bigger than oneself…” 

Those statements perfectly explain the pastoral care, chaplaincy, emotional and spiritual care, and practical needs, we train others to engage in.

Join us. Make a difference in the lives of others. You will make a difference in your own life as well. 
www.hesedhope.org
 
    “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” Matt. 9:36-38