We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
Experiencing a Miracle When Caring for Others
During a Bible Study one evening shortly after Thanksgiving, we were studying Philippians, and something in it about sharing with others or giving brought out an obvious spark of interest in doing something for other people ourselves. Clearly, those who expressed this interest wanted to help people locally. Then a local art and music store came to mind. Each year on the Saturday before Christmas, using referrals from local missions, they provide toys and food to families who would otherwise not be able to afford any type of celebration. The volunteer hours put into this enterprise are staggering!
Immediately, the Bible study participants wanted to know how we could help! One person left the study to call the leader of the art and music store, leaving messages at her home and at the business to say that we were interested in helping somehow: "What do you need?” Satisfied with pursuing this lead, the phone caller returned to the Bible study. During refreshments, the phone rang and the store owner, in tears, thanked us, saying that what they needed was toys. An especially large number of children were among the families requesting help this particular year, and when the phone call was made, the store owner had been in a board meeting, praying about whether or not they might have to give only food this year and discontinue giving toys, since they just didn't have the funds. (This group is incorporated as a non-profit organization, but receives no grants or funding other than donations and volunteer labor).
The next day we decorated the Christmas tree at the church building and agreed to put up paper “ornament tags” assigning ages and genders. People not only took the tags and brought back lovely gifts, but they had a delightful time! Oh what fun it is to give cheerfully, picturing a child playing, and knowing it is given with the express intention of spreading Jesus' love. A van-load of toys from Cornersburg Baptist Church were part of the mountain of gifts God provided the local ministry this past Christmas. (We didn't get an exact count, but several dozen children were provided with gifts.) The participants in the Bible study reflected on the experience in the first January meeting and agreed it had been a privilege to take part in this venture. One relatively new Christian said, “I've never been part of a miracle before.” PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL