What is our mission as the people of God?
I believe it’s to show people Christ through our love and compassion—to display care in a careless world. Christianity doesn’t get any more basic than that, does it? It is seeing value in, caring for, reaching out to, and spending time with those whom Jesus called “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40).
If Christianity is Christ and Christ displayed compassion, then Christianity’s finest expression is to model Christ’s compassion. I agree with author Jeremy Jackson: “It is a fair rule of thumb that only that love of neighbor which can also draw people to Christ is truly a reflection of that love for God which is its source.”
Do you passionately desire to hear the Lord Jesus’ voice inviting you to enjoy His eternal rewards? I certainly do! If so, then express His grace and love to others. Reciprocate His compassion. I urge you—do it now. Start today. The need is that great. Risk reaching, without waiting for an invitation to help. Deliberately and genuinely love your neighbor, just as the Samaritan did in Christ’s parable. Don’t forget that the Samaritan loved the one who was beaten and broken. And shaping His command on the basis of the Samaritan’s compassion, Jesus told the expert in the Law to “go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).
An anonymous poet once expressed it well:
Love has a hem to her garment
That trails in the very dust;
It can reach the stains of the streets and lanes,
And because it can, it must.
Enough of words! Our tired and broken world has heard empty talk for too long. Truth be told, this plea is older than a 78-speed record that’s been scratched, repeating the same wearisome bromide over and over again. Those in need long for action, not hollow rhetoric. Without realizing it, they long for the Savior’s touch, the compassion of Jesus incarnated in the trenches. Such demonstrations give us the right to bear the name “Christian.” And when you grow weary, when your resolve starts to wear thin, remind yourself that the world will not care how much you know until it knows how much you care.
About the Contributors
Charles R. Swindoll has devoted his life to the accurate, practical teaching and application of God’s Word and His grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as the founder and senior pastor-teacher of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. His leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped prepare and equip a new generation for ministry. Chuck and his wife Cynthia, have four grown children, ten grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.