It’s undeniable that suffering exists in the world. People are fleeing their countries, living through health crises, and struggling to find enough food or clean water. In this day and age, the constant bombardment of images, headlines, and emotional TV commercials portraying these hardships can harden our hearts to what’s going on in neighboring communities and countries. The weight of it all feels like too much to bear, and if we’re honest with ourselves, turning a blind eye feels easier sometimes.
However, our response to the suffering we see in the world matters, especially as a follower of Christ. We often jump to buzzwords like “being the hands and feet of Jesus” to describe the way we’re called to act. But what does that even mean – and does it actually matter that much?
Being the Hands and Feet of Jesus
The vulnerable are so close to God’s heart that he considers your care for them to be caring for himself. Stop and let that sink in for a moment. In Matthew 25:34-40, Jesus praises his followers who saw people in need and responded in love. That’s what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus: observing the needs around us, assessing our resources, and giving what we’re able.
On the other hand, there are many examples in the Bible where the thing inciting God’s harshest rebuke is the oppression of the vulnerable. 1 John 3:17 is an especially sobering example: “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion – how can God’s love be in that person?”
It matters how we respond to the great needs in the world around us, but it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. The good news is it’s not as big of an undertaking as you might think! Here are some things you can do today to start making a difference near and far:
Root Yourself in God’s Love
Doing something to help people in our need is ultimately a display of God’s love. Like Jesus said in John 15:12, “Love each other in the same way I have loved you.” In order to respond to this command, it helps to remind ourselves what God’s love is and what it means for our lives. Consider what’s written in 1 John 4:9-11: “God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”
Pray for Opportunities
In order to respond to opportunities to express God’s love to others around the world, we need to be aware of those opportunities. You probably already have a few ideas in mind, but prayer is still a great place to start before taking any action. By simply taking time to ask God, he can make you aware of ways to serve that you never would’ve come up with on your own.
Jesus reminds us that serving others doesn’t have to be complicated. In Luke 3:10-11, he says, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.” By praying for awareness, God can open our eyes to even the simplest opportunities to demonstrate his love for others.
Be on the Lookout
It’s one thing to pray for opportunities to serve, but those prayers mean nothing if we aren’t willing to act. Consider who in your sphere God might be calling you to serve – maybe a single parent, an orphan, or an outsider. What could that look like, and how are you uniquely able to help?
One of the most scalable opportunities to make a difference is Child Sponsorship. With a monthly payment, you can make sure a child somewhere in the world gets access to resources like food, water, and education and change the trajectory of their lives forever. And unlike serving at a soup kitchen or going on a missions trip, you don’t even need to leave your house – simply head to our website and choose a child to sponsor. One simple act can change a child’s life and cause a ripple effect in their community!
Showing love and consideration for people in need isn’t optional. We’re called to be the hands and feet of Jesus and live as ambassadors for Christver in the world. Here are some practical ways to respond to needs near and far and make a lasting impact:
- Serve in your local community. Research organizations around you that work for a cause you care about, or check out our list of trusted organizations and discover one near you.
- Serve in another country on a missions trip. At LCBC, we want to see communities thrive all across the globe. See where we’re heading next and join us if you feel led!
- Sponsor a Child. In a matter of minutes, you can change a child’s life forever. See some of the children who are still waiting for a sponsor.
If you’re interested in learning more about ways to make a difference around the world, here are some helpful resources for you to explore:
4 Ways to Give Back to Your Community that Actually Make a Difference
How Child Sponsorship Gives Us A New Perspective on Serving Our Global Communities
6 Ways You Can Impact Others
Is Faith Without Works Possible?
LCBC Stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can't wait to connect with you!