Our Quiet Ministry – The Love Fund

Most times, when I see a person on the street asking for money, I pretend like I don’t see them or turn my head away to act like I’m busy, I feel guilty. Should I feel guilty? Am I a “charitable” person? Webster defines charitable as “1: Full of love for and goodwill toward others: BENEVOLENT. 2: Liberal in gifts to the needyGENEROUS.”  Here is what another commentator stated on the act of being charitable, “Charity is an exercise, a training, a discipline of shaping our character to become less of ‘me’, but more of ‘us’ as a community.”  Something for each of us to ponder.

Jesus knows exactly what it means to be charitable. He gave us a crystal-clear understanding in His parable of the sheep and the goats from Matthew 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Whenever I read this parable, it makes me wonder if I am a sheep or a goat? The answer for me, as for everyone, can only be determined by our actions. What can I do to help?

Here is one way. We are fortunate at Chapel Oaks that we have a ministry that helps answer that question. Our Love Fund was created to help individuals and families who have fallen on unexpected hard times, whether it be utility bills, rent, repairs, medical expenses, the list goes on. During our current financial year, which ends on June 30, the Love Fund has distributed $7,930 to nine different individuals and families, and I am proud that our church has the means to help when called upon. We cannot let this ministry well go dry!

There are multiple ways to help replenish the Love Funds resources. The primary funding source comes from the free-will offering taken up following each quarterly communion service. You can also simply mark “Love Fund” on your regular offerings, either electronically or by using the traditional tithe envelope. Please consider helping the Love Fund meet the needs of the less fortunate. 

In our uncertain world, there is no guarantee that next person who needs emergency help isn’t your family. - Fred Lucky

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