Sherry and I met first thing yesterday morning to kick off the day right! We really enjoyed talking specifically about mobilizing Merced County believers to action in the name of Christ. Sherry is the Executive Director for the Merced branch of Love INC (In the Name of Christ). This organization is an exciting ministry that really should serve as a daily reminder in every town where it exists, a reminder to all believers to be active and engaged in the community where God has placed them, to be connecting with those God gives us to encounter with grace and consistency, showing the favor of the Living God to those we meet. Sherry’s most consistent clients would be those we would easily simply call “down and out,” yet Sherry and I discussed how much of a down-right bad idea it is for us to think about “the least of these” as “them” and ourselves as “us”. Friends, let’s listen to Sherry’s wise correction: “It’s not about us and them. We all stand before God as ‘us’ needing to know Christ personally.” This isn’t an exact quote, but she said various things to this tune. We have got to band together as teams of believers, neighbors, friends, small group members in our churches or between various local churches, and we must compel one another to love and good works, reaching others to make disciples of Jesus. Most often, where do we find those most ready to become disciples of Jesus Christ? Those who realize their material/physical needs are those most often ready to listen.
A little over a year ago, I had the honor of helping Sherry with part of one of her Love Plus programs for some friends wanting to get their finances in order. Since this is something I deeply enjoy doing through my business on a consistent basis, this was a lot of fun to do with a group. Sherry is currently the one teaching this course for her clients, and she is enjoying it. I’ve committed to help her find teachers for the various courses Love Plus offers, working with her coordinator for Love Plus, Marcy Cotta. Please reach out to SHERRY AND HER TEAM – LINK to learn how you can be involved directly with Love INC and specifically Love Plus, but even more importantly, pray and listen for the Lord’s challenging and prodding of you to engage with those we encounter with consistent kindness and compassion and with the hope of Jesus, shared in time and with genuine concern, not just to get another name added to a list of “converts.” We want to see people repenting and believing in Jesus, but if we aren’t showing each other relationship with Jesus as our Cornerstone, we will not be showing each other the whole picture. Being a disciple of Jesus, a genuine follower of our Lord, is much more than confessing Him at some point in our story and admitting some sins; it’s following Him around town daily, and drawing one another into the kind of heart attitudes and behaviors He demonstrated for us, turning to show compassion to one another and specifically those we encounter in severe need.
As we do this together, we can leverage ministries like LoveINC and Sherry’s team to help with situations we feel under-prepared for, but we can’t just farm people off to non-profits and essentially hire our acts of kindness. We MUST be showing God’s heart to the people we encounter. As we do this TOGETHER as a community of believers from various local churches, we will far more effectively learn together how and when to include more specialized ministries like what Sherry is organizing and leading here in Merced.
Enjoy your morning, friends!
“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” – Psalm 27