September 8, 2017

When Disaster Strikes: Part 5

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:17-18 (NIV)

We’ve been walking through the steps Scripture gives when disaster strikes.

Step 1: Release your grief

Step 2: Resist bitterness

Step 3: Re-evaluate your life

Step 4: Receive help from others

Step 5: Rely on the Lord

Step 6: Refuse to be discouraged

It has been inspiring and so encouraging to witness the flood of response from people helping people in the disaster of Hurricane Harvey! Wherever you turn, you see an outpouring of love, material goods and services given and received with grateful and humble thanks!

Step 7: Reach out to others

Reaching out to others when disaster strikes is one of the most Christ-like things we can do! Jesus said,

“Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8 (NIV)

Just as Christ has reached out to us, we are to reach out to others as the hands and feet of Jesus. We are the physical, visible expression of an invisible God. Through our love and acts of kindness, we reflect His image and likeness.

In what ways are you reaching out to others? Through the disaster of Hurricane Harvey, we’ve seen thousands of volunteers demonstrating the love of God beyond mere words of faith. This is the message of James in James 2:14-17,

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” 

D.L. Moody said that James was the Bible bound in shoe leather! Real faith is an attitude that prompts us to action! We are called to “Be the Message” and not just to preach it. When those in crisis see Christ in us by our acts of kindness, we earn the right to be heard when we share His love with them.

I began this series by saying that crisis time is God’s time! He is in charge of the circumstances of our lives. He doesn’t cause bad things to happen, but He can work all things that happen for good when we trust Him. This is the challenge of the church today! It’s what separates the church from any other organization on earth! The church is the hope of the world, and it never shines brighter than when disaster strikes!

If you desire to be a part of a church that cares, that’s making a difference in our world, that lights a candle instead of just cursing the darkness, then I invite you to be a part of Woodlands Church.  Join us this Sunday for lunch at any of our campuses for our huge Fall Kick-Off Membership Class following the final morning service. You can register here. We look forward to welcoming you to the Woodlands Church family!