A couple nights ago, our life group (6 couples) from church met and continued to discuss prayer requests, praises, our book study, and the various ways that marshmallows can be roasted over a fire. All of this really led to pudgie pies and cheese toasties, both of which I have never heard of before in my life, and if you have, I guess you’re from around this area of northeast Indiana. And that wraps up what I learned. End of post, NOT!
On a serious note, we covered chapter 6 of Radical by David Platt (of which I referenced in the last post) and had some lively dialogue. The chapter was stocked full of scripture, life lessons, and challenges so it was decided by the leader that we would just talk about certain quotes from the book or verses from the Bible that came up and go from there. As we were discussing, at one point, someone asked the whole group, “Are we building a kingdom for ourselves or for God?” All of this talk about materialism, people around the world not having the many things I need that are actually luxuries, AND they hadn’t heard of Jesus!
Can we consider ourselves Christians?
It was at this point that we pondered out loud even more because we were already mentally racing around so much that we were imagining what we could do tangibly. We felt like we needed to do something, and it needed to be in the community, somewhere where we as a group could be His hands and His feet and not be concerned about representing even a particular local church body. It wasn’t much later that this same person insisted that the next step in studying the Bible and this book had to be “something concrete” because there was an abundance of challenges and corrections in relation to the American Christian culture that we all had become accustomed to. And honestly, something intentional needed to be done. NOW!
It was here that we (went off-course willingly and) decided as a group that we would get connected with a local food bank and have some people volunteer there. We are also going to start assisting a local ministry already going in the community with their stocking and handing out of goods to those in need. The guys expressed interest in going to a city nearby and taking on street ministry with the homeless. I felt chills going through my body. The Holy Spirit was moving in the church that had assembled, and we didn’t have to be inside a particular building for the Father to be doing anything special. (Side note: In fact, we were outside.)
But wait, it didn’t stop there. We went local, but we believed that Father wanted us to “make disciples of all nations.” Therefore, another great suggestion that was followed through was that every couple, each month, would choose an organization or something of the like to give aid to when it came to financial & prayer matters. This isn’t anything that the others in the group would be forced to partake of, but it would be an opportunity to reach out in a different way. And reaching out is exactly what Jesus did wherever He went, no matter if he was in a church building or outside in the world. The key word is that He was in the world, not of it. And that’s where the Holy Spirit can do the most work. When we live outside of ourselves and look to the conditions that others are facing and lend a helping hand, we can love like He did (Philippians 2).
Serve, love, and expect nothing in return. This is a demonstration of transformation. PtL!