As our economy topples and public assistance funds are cut, who is going to take care of the poor? Shouldn't that be the Christian's job? Isn't that part of what Jesus told us to do? (Matthew 25. 35-46) Whatever we do for, or fail to do for, others around us are done — or not done — for Jesus.
There's a song out that says, “If we are the body, why aren't His hands reaching?” Are we part of the body of Christ? Did Jesus ever pass by someone in need and not stop to meet that need? We are so used to calling the church “the body” that we sometimes forget what that means. It means body of believers? Yes, but Paul goes beyond that. (1Corinthians 6, 12, Ephesians 1, 3, 4, 5, Colossians 1 and others. Way too many to ignore.)
Sure we are happy to give to the poor in other nations. What about in your backyard? Yes, you might actually have to do something besides writing a check. You may be asked to cook a meal, or help someone get to a doctor's appointment. You might have to go to someone's home and pray with/for them. The Holy Spirit might even ask you to do the unthinkable. You might have to give up something that you value so that you can be Jesus to someone in your community.
I am not advocating that we sell our houses and give everything to feed the homeless. But if that is what God is telling you to do, you had better obey. (Obedience to God is the key to a successful life. Disobedience to God is the surest recipe to disaster that you can find anywhere.) What I am asking everyone to do is to examine your hearts. Not your actions. I don't care WHAT you are doing for others. I want you to examine you hearts to see if you are doing what God wants you to do. You can be feeding thousands of people every day, but if God wants you to be doing something else; you are in trouble. Ask God to place an unmistakable burden in your heart for His will. Be ready for Him to do this, because He will. Also, be ready for this to move you outside of your comfort zone.
When was the last time you sat down and talked to someone who was homeless? It is hard to get solid figures, but did you know that on any given night up to 7 million people in the United States do not have a place to sleep? What are these people's needs? For one thing, they would like others to know that they are human just like you. When was the last time you sat down and talked to someone who was homeless? It's very hard to talk to them when you are crossing to the other side of the street to avoid them.
Did you know that 36 percent of homeless people are in a family with children? Seven percent are unaccompanied children. That's 49,000 children, without a parent or guardian, homeless on the streets of America. If we are the body, why aren't His hands reaching?
Take some time to find out what God wants you to do. We have let the state and the federal governments do our job for too long. The apostle Paul quoted the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 49.8) “At the right time I heard you. On the day of salvation I helped you.” Listen, now is God's acceptable time! Now is the day of salvation!” (2 Corinthians 6:2) There are people in this country who are dying and it is our job to see that they receive the physical help they need so that they can be brought into the Kingdom of God. Today is God's acceptable time.