Entry 07 – February 19th, 2017
More than just lip service…or wrestling with the ghost of Tom Joad
Moving right along, here’s installment number 4 in the Voice series:
The Voice of God is Crying Out
I imagine your life at home is pretty comfortable. All of you have the things you need to live – food and drink, clothes to wear, a place to sleep; and I would say a good many of you have a lot of things beyond that. I bet some of you have an XBox or a Playstation, an iPod or cellphone, and so many other modern conveniences that make your life pleasant and possibly easier. You’ve been blessed. There are some out there tonight who have not been as fortunate as you are. Somewhere not far from here tonight a little boy is going to bed hungry because there isn’t enough food for dinner. There’s a family huddling together under a bridge to keep warm because they don’t have a house to go back to. Over in Africa there are hundreds of people crying out for relief from decades of war and strife; where little children are forced to be soldiers. In some other countries in Asia young girls are pressed into slavery in brothels and sold to men for unspeakable acts. None of these things escape my Father’s sight. He sees all of these injustices and atrocities and it causes him to weep. My Father is crying out for someone to go to these and show them how much He cares for them.
So, what does this mean to you? I know some of you may still be wrestling with the question of the voices and which to follow and that’s fine; you have to come to that decision on your own. Let’s talk for a moment though about what it actually means to follow. It requires an active participation. There is no room for anyone to just sit off to the side and watch the proceedings, no need for spectators. My Father is calling you to Him and crying out for those around you who may not be able to cry out for themselves. I imparted this to my close friends while I was here that my Father was seeking their hearts not their sacrifices. Anyone can put on a show and make a display of their “devotion and worship” for everyone to see, but this is not truly following my Father’s voice. When I was questioned about following His voice through the Law I summed it up this way: “love God with every part of your being and then love your neighbor the same way you love yourself, all of the Law ever given falls within this.” I also told it to my friends this way: “people will know you’re following my Father if you love everyone the way I’ve loved you.” I know this wasn’t an easy thing for them to understand and I can see you might be struggling with it too. Look at it this way; if you were having a hard time getting by wouldn’t you want someone to offer a helping hand? If your family lost their house because of a fire, wouldn’t you want friends or neighbors or extended family members offering to help you pick up the pieces? That’s what my Father does for each of you and it’s the way I showed my friends how to follow Him.
Like I’ve told you during our time this week, my Father loves all of you and wants you to follow His voice. One of the biggest parts of following Him is showing others just how much He loves them by taking care of them the way He has taken care of you. He wants you to sit with the kid in the lunchroom that no one else wants to sit with and show them that they’re not invisible or unwanted. He wants you to spend some time with your elders or visit a nursing home and talk to the residents and show them that someone is still interested in their life and what they have to teach us. He wants you to get involved in your community and make a difference in the lives of those who haven’t had an easy time in life. When you do these things, even something as simple as offering a drink to someone who is thirsty, it’s like you’ve offered it to my Father Himself and that makes Him smile. Following the same thought if you decide that you don’t have the time to get involved or you don’t care about those in need or the lonely ones, it’s the same as telling my Father that you don’t have the time for Him or the things that are important to Him.
I know some of you may be on the edge but saying, “I’m just one person. What real difference do my actions make?” Well it only takes one loose pebble to start an avalanche, or a single spark to start a flame. One life can change the world. One voice can make a difference; mine changed the course of history…and so can yours. All you have to do is speak.