By Paul Vanderstar
Todd raised the question of what should we, as Christians be doing for the Lord. In addition to my personal walk with God, the desire to immerse myself in His Word and my responsibility to keep myself accountable and growing in the knowledge of Scripture, I feel Christians should as true believers, seek to do the perfect will of our Father in heaven.
As believers we experience gradual changes in our lives as we walk with God. We start to put off the “old me” and put on the new as we grow in that walk. Part of putting on the new, we start to feel compelled to do good works as a result of the Holy Spirit working within us through our faith in God.
I believe that although the Holy Spirit works differently in each of us, eventually as we do change, we will be doing God’s will and pleasing Him will become the center of our daily lives. And that we will all feel compelled as Christians to do the will of God. Our desire to do His will may start with changes in our lives in small steps; perhaps witnessing to loved ones or the change may come instantly to us lighting our souls on fire to help every man, woman and child that we can.
As a newly reborn brother in Jesus, I can feel God pulling me, calling me to His service in ways that will advance His kingdom. I feel particularly compelled to work with those who are in dire need of a friend. These people I feel called to help are prisoners and the homeless in America, the elderly and infirmed–particularly in my home state but I look across the ocean and our borders as well.
I’ve learned this through prayer with an emphasis on what my heart tells me to do. My heart reaches out to those less fortunate. I have always felt badly for those people even before I received Jesus. Now I feel compelled to help them rather than just pity them.
Knowing I have a responsibility to witness as a Christian is half the battle. Knowing when to step in and listen to my heart is almost the remainder of the battle. The easiest part of this question on what to do as a Christian, is to find out where can I gain opportunity and witness!
I started recently by looking into my church and the services they offer. Examples to look for within your own church:
- Any ministries the church offers; those that are in need of people to help through volunteer work. Most churches I’ve researched locally are involved in community programs to help those in need work on a volunteer basis.
- Soup kitchens or programs sponsored by the church that help those less fortunate than ourselves.
- Organizations or alliances that form programs to plant churches overseas or right here inside our own American borders.
- The homeless crisis in this country is astounding. There are many programs both within church organizations and state sponsored programs that offer opportunities to share and help others. Also offering comfort in sharing the salvation message when given an opportunity to do so and be a friendly face. Even if you can only offer one day a month this would be rewarding and would help uplift many.
- Check into volunteering in a hospital or similar institution.
After a simple search on my church website, I was happy to report a broad array of services and ministries that help those in need from the homeless in local soup kitchens to those incarcerated in local and state prisons.
Programs are out there that allow close contact with those in need, that will allow the average Christian access to those in need of God’s work most. Those in need of a friend who care enough to take time out of their blessed lives to share the Good News and lead as Christ called us to lead by bringing forth the gospel, or just to spend time with someone in need.
I am actively interviewing to enter one of these ministries, and will be happy to work the soup kitchen or the prison ministry. I will feel blessed just to bring the Good News to anyone willing to hear it. I will also be happy to bring it to those who don’t. I will answer God’s call humbly.
We are all sinners and need that gap bridged through Jesus Christ.
This doesn’t mean we need to go in like gangbusters into a church sponsored program and preach, preach, preach. We are called to witness responsibly. Get to know those to whom you offer your services to. Let that relationship build and lead by example. Identify with the program or person you are talking to and let them into your life.
My firm belief is that we lead by example. Don’t preach at people, you will never gain an audience. Sharing the gospel is not strong-arming those who do not believe. The moment you condemn another is the moment you condemn yourself. Be a listener. Be a friend. The rest will follow in all aspects of your life. Your life will be a living testimony to the power of Christ working in your life.
Remember James 2:20, “But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”
Let your heart convict you as to what you can do as a Christian. Circumstances prevent us sometimes from contributing to His heavenly kingdom. Trust that God will call you to His service according to what you can do!