Автор: john dettoni
Category: Средства информации и технологии, Личное свидетельство, Бедность и богатство
“...A cup of cold water,” is it enough? Good, better, best!!
Help feed the hungry children; clothe the naked; heal the sick; do good and more good. Dig wells for people to drink clean water; give medicines and inoculations to keep them well; give new and/or used shoes for the shoeless .....and so the mantra goes.
Are these bad? Hardly! In fact, they are good. The Red Cross, Red Crescent, international service clubs, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and thousands of other social groups do all these, including many well meaning Christians and their denominations and other Christian organizations.
But what if there is something missing from “...the cup of cold water?” What if giving people pure water to drink is insufficient? What if giving bread and healing their illnesses is insufficient? What if helping to clothe their bodies is insufficient?
Insufficient? How could that be? Are we not commanded to do good to all people? Should we not heal the sick, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit those in prison, etc., etc.? YES! But we “...give the cup of cold water” in Jesus’ name. Not in the name of some social or religious organization.
Do good, but what good is it if people drink pure well water but miss having an opportunity to hear about and are invited to receive the Living Water, the Lord Jesus Christ? What good is a loaf of bread or a whole truck load but people miss knowing the One who is the Bread of Life? Of what eternal value is it to heal the sick but miss knowing the Great Physician? What good is it to sacrifice money and time for “doing good” but not telling about the Father’s greatest sacrifice of His Son?
How can we hear of “thousands of homes” built for people with no earthly homes, but not give them any information about their eternal home? Why do pastors and other well-meaning people stand in front of God’s people and tell about all the people served with food, clothing, and new housing, but neglect to tell us about how the reign of Christ has entered into the lives of the recipients?
Do these “do gooders” really communicate the “Good News” about Jesus as they do good, or do they just “do good” and forget Jesus? Or is Jesus somehow way behind the scenes waiting to be introduced, but never brought to the front stage?
Why do so many so-called Christian “do good” organizations seldom if ever inform their supporters about the many who have said yes to Jesus, the many who have turned their lives over the Christ, the many who “...have decided to follow Jesus....?” Are these organizations not proclaiming the Good News or are they convinced that talking about “sharing the Gospel” as the message of salvation and holiness through the Lord Jesus Christ is a “turn off” to their supporters?
Why can we hear a 30 minute sermon about good deeds and hear about the numbers served, yet never hear that all the doing good has also helped to bring dozens and hundreds and thousands to faith in Christ Jesus?
Are Christians today doing good, but not best? Why do we settle for doing good when we could do better. No, not better, but best!!!
Jesus gave living water; He gave living bread; he gave life for here and for eternity.
If we are followers of Christ’s, then can we do any less?
We need deliverance from the bondage of “doing good” for (or is it “to?”) people in order that Christians can do really the best. Give water, bread, medicine, housing, clothes, shoes, etc. But for God’s sake, don’t forget to communicate the Good News in words.
Some may want to quote what some have said that Francis of Assisi is said to have said, "Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary, use words." Trouble is he never said this, and he preached all the time and did good! His life of poverty was also a life of communication in words and not just deeds about the Gospel. Just like Jesus.
We do the Gospel disservice when we only do good deeds, putting Christians in the same boat as any social, do good organization like UN Relief. What makes Christians different from any social or political “do good” organization?
When we only do good, and not communicate in unmistakably clear words that Jesus is the only way, truth and life, then we neglect much of the New Testament’s teaching:
“...Go and make disciples..., teaching them....” (Matt. 28:19-20)
14But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?” (Romans 10:14)
Every Epistle of St. Paul in the New Testament begins with the restatement of his message that the churches in Asia Minor and Rome had heard. He defends and restates the Gospel continually in his epistles, reminding people of their need to follow Jesus in all they do: in faith and action. His life mission is summed in Acts 20:24, But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love.
Are we Christians any less commanded? Do we have the option of giving cups of cold water and then that’s all? Are we not actually sinning by not explaining that the cup of cold water, the bread for life, clothes for the body, shoes for the feet, and medicine for the inner body – all these and more are because Jesus loves these people and wants them to be part of the Father’s family?
Are we willing to stand in the presence of the Lord who will judge us at the very end and look Him in the face and say, “I gave lots of ‘cups of cold water.”
And when He asked, “Did you also communicate the Good News about me to those people? Did they know clearly that the cup of cold water was a precursor to the living water that you also possessed to give? Did they know that the bread you gave them to eat was a foretaste of the eternal Bread of Life that you knew all about? Did they know that the healing medicines were because of the Great Physician who heals bodies and souls? Did they know that while you clothed their physical bodies, that I wanted to clothe them in righteousness. Did they know that the shoes you gave were part of the Gospel of peace between me and them?”
Did you tell them?
And what will you say to your purported Lord?
December 6, 2009
john m. dettoni, ph.d
311 west avenida gaviota
san clemente, california 92672 USA
phone: +949-498-1078; skype: john.dettoni