When I examine the landscape of Christianity, I think our practical theology is so skewed that it’s more twisted than a Kansas twister. The focus of the church today seems to be more on a person’s bank account than on the salvation of no-account sinners.
Contrast this to Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
This To Do List of Jesus should be the lens through which we view the mission of the church, and the rhythmic cadence that calls us to march in step with His command to:
• Proclaim the good news of the gospel to the poor
• Proclaim freedom to the enslaved
• Open the eyes of the blind
• Open our arms to the oppressed
Which of the items above is on your To Do List? How do you view the poor and needy? There has been a tendency throughout the history of the church to overlook the “least of these” instead of looking out for them.
This was the case in Acts 6: “Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.”
“Neglect” and “daily” are the key words in the Scripture above. “Neglect” refers to a side by side comparison for the purpose of value, and “daily” refers to the frequency of the distribution.
What does your daily distribution consist of and who do you neglect? Are your prayers reserved for just your family and friends or do they include the poor, needy, and the misfits of society?
Are you so focused on getting more and achieving personal happiness that you forget the enslaved, the blind, and the oppressed? If so, you’ll find happiness fleeting and never discover true contentment.
The Apostle Paul said: “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4).”
Paul experienced many “have” and “have not” moments in his life, and he knew that to “have not” Christ was to not have contentment. From the moment he met Jesus, Paul focused his life on the To Do List of his Lord. It became his mission and goal, and it is the secret to living a life of contentment.