Noticing – Doing

1,500 school age children in our township (MSD Decatur) live below the poverty level – that is 1.3% above the Indiana state average.

  • These students are more likely to experience neglect, hunger, thirst, and probably wear inappropriate clothing for the weather.

On a date in January of 2016 in the city limits of Indianapolis, 1,619 people were considered homeless and were living on the streets in 23º temperatures (19% of these people were minors).

  • Hundreds of adults and children are currently homeless in our township.

Millions of people are detained in many kinds of “prisons” today:

  • Some people are locked up behind bars in a detention center;
  • Many others are being held against their will in situations beyond their control with the threat of life looming over them;
  • Still more are trapped in circumstances of life – abusive lifestyles (home, work, substance, etc), controlling people, financial stress, emotional traps, etc.;
  • And, finally, more than half the world’s population today is living with the entrapment of sin and its death grip on life eternal.

 

What is stirred in your mind and heart when you read these statistics? Perhaps you have heard the call of God similar to the one that came to His people during Isaiah’s prophecy:

Isaiah 58:6-10 (NLT)

“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?
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 them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
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.

The passage below is the proclamation of Jesus about His mission; the “Year of the Lord’s favor”:

Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)

 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

I can’t help but reflect on the call of our lives to love others as He loved the world. He showed us His personal vision and the very heart of God through some very bold steps into people’s lives. We are definitely living in the time of Grace – the “year of the Lord’s favor”.  So, go and…

  • Free the wrongly imprisoned
  • Lighten the burdens of workers
  • Free the oppressed and enslaved
  • Feed the hungry
  • Shelter the homeless
  • Clothe the naked
  • Stop pointing fingers of blame; start helping!

Go, and engage the world for the sake of Jesus!

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