Suddenly there were more people than they could help – the supplies they had taken to minister to the homeless on the streets of Houston were quickly gone. It was a small group – 3 women and one teenage girl – and this past week they had purposely ventured out to find people in need. Supplies has been gathered by the church, an assembly line on the afternoon of July 4th put them into bags, and this small group took armloads of the bags out into Houston. They wondered if they would find anyone in need. That thought was quickly dashed as word quickly spread and people came to them before they could even venture far from their car. They all came back with plans to do better the next time – more supplies, more bottled water on ice, and invitations to more people to join the efforts. I got excited just listening to the excitement in their voices as they told the stories of the people they met and the good they were able to do.
I think John Wesley would be proud of these people known as United Methodist. Wesley was notorious for going out into the streets and finding ways to help others. Starting schools, buying food, giving the coat off his back. Here’s what he once wrote:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
John Wesley – the one God used to initiate Methodism.
It’s interesting how doing good has become fashionable these days – people are encouraged to volunteer to make the world a better place. But Wesley knew there was more to the good he did than the good he did. Wesley wasn’t simply trying to make the world a better place, he was trying to spread the word that Jesus changes lives. He wanted to use all the resources he could to change lives and help them know the greater salvation that comes in and through Jesus.
What’s the difference? Well, it’s kinda like watching HD TV on a regular TV. You’ll get the picture but there’s more to get. It’s like going to Disney and watching all the people and enjoying the view but never being part of what’s going on. It’s like being on vacation but taking your laptop to work on – yeah, you get the time away but you don’t get all you can out of the vacation.
To do good – in all the ways you can, where ever you can, how ever you can – is a good thing. BUT, when you go because you long to see others know Jesus, when you go as a way to bring the love of Jesus into the lives of others you bring more than just provisions for the body, you nurture the soul. It’s not because you say the right words or pray with people (although those are good ideas), it’s because when you let God put His Spirit into you it will leak out on others as you do good,
I’m blessed to be a part of a church where good is done to others. I’m more blessed by how the Holy Spirit leaks out of the people and touches my life – that’s how I know it happens for others.
Go. Do Good. Lots and lots of good. Be leaky.
Holy high five to you, Mike.