Making a Difference in Our Community
What can provoke us toward sustained compassionate ministry to our community?
1. Submit to the word of God
James 1:19–21 (ESV)
19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
2. Persevere in scripture to provoke obedience
James 1:22–25 (ESV)
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
3. Follow through with compassionate action
James 1:26–27 (ESV)
26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Questions for further reflection and discussion:
· List ministries of our church aimed at people in our community who do not attend BP?
· How is the challenge regarding listening, speaking, and anger relevant to caring for the community around us?
· What does it mean to receive with meekness the implanted word? Do you see the word “meekness” as a strong word or a weak word? Why?
· What is the difference in these two statements: “Do what the word says” and “be a doer of the word?” Why might this difference matter?
· What practical steps are involved in “looking into the perfect law and persevering in that?
· Orphans and widows were the most helpless members of society in the time of James’ writing. Is the same still true now, or would you identify other groups of people as most in need now?
· How can we learn to think as missionaries to our community?
· How can we be innovative in serving non-Christians outside of our church?
· What needs in our community is God is God calling us to meet?