What about the needy?
“The poor you have with you always,” Jesus said in John 12:8 (NKJV). There were many poor people in Jesus’ day, and there are even more today.
I have seen many of these in some of the world’s “black holes.” I have seen AG missionaries reaching into the lowest places, with considerable risk to themselves, to cleanse, clothe, feed and offer medical care to some of the world’s neediest people.
The Assemblies of God clearly cares about the needy when it comes to world missions.
But how do we value the poor in our own country?
In the inner city of a U.S. metropolis, I watched street people mill about in a modern city square, waiting for a Christian street service that would culminate with the distribution of food, supplies and health care.
One man who caught my eye appeared to be in his 60s, but perhaps he was much younger … harshly weathered by his lifestyle. He wore an orange T-shirt, filthy jeans and ragged shoes. His red watch cap was pulled down to cover his ears. He carried a cane, but did not use it. His bare arms sported a variety of edgy tattoos. Perhaps he thought they looked macho when he got them, but now they were tragic symbols of a bankrupt life. He was noticeably cold, but he didn’t seem to know how to keep himself warm.
He heard the gospel that night, but his vacant stare gave no hint of comprehension. When he left, he had a blanket, though I was not confident he would have it for long. Shortly after the distribution, he and several others were shooed out of the square by police.
Here was a man who didn’t know how to stay warm or use his cane, and who had no home.
Here was a man Jesus loved.
Loving the unloved and unlovely is what Jesus is about. As you read Hal Donaldson’s Midnight in the City excerpt in this issue, allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you about how you can best express that love.
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