I want to take a moment to thank Pastor Lawrence Chua for his 10+ years of service to Community of Praise Baptist Church on our Board of Advisors. In addition to his role as the Senior Pastor of Living Sanctuary Brethren Church and his work as a lawyer (and numerous other responsibilities) Lawrence has kindly assisted us with wise counsel and advice for more than a decade. We have agreed to release him from this role and will be refreshing our Board of Advisors with some new members but Ps. Lawrence’s contributions are greatly appreciated and we want to recognize his service to CPBC.
Pastor Lawrence was our speaker on Sunday and his message dealt with issues of the heart regarding our engagement with serving the community. While we have always been a church with a heart for the community, there are challenges that arise. Results are often slow in coming, the needs of the community can be daunting and the pressures of work, family and other responsibilities can easily diminish our commitment. In short, our hearts can become jaded causing us to withdraw from serving others.
Jesus’ disciples had a similar experience when the crowds pressed in for help in Matthew 14:14-21. With the crowds pressing in and the day getting late, the disciples wanted to send the multitudes away to find food for themselves. Jesus’ reply to them in verse 16 was not what they were hoping to hear: “But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
There are times when the call to community service comes when you feel tired, lack resources and want to get away from the pressure. With the call, however, is the promise of a miracle. The disciples felt overwhelmed by the need but Jesus wanted to show them how far compassion could bring them! After gathering a few loaves and fishes and bringing them to Jesus, the food was miraculously multiplied as the disciples distributed it to the people. The people were fed, the disciples’ hearts were renewed and the leftovers filled 12 baskets!
If you are feeling a compassion deficit; if you have felt that the challenges of serving in the community are too great, if the other pressures of life are holding you back from being involved in caring for others, then you are a candidate for a miracle. The same compassion that moved Jesus to minister to the multitudes can fill your heart. The same miraculous provision that happened on the shores of Galilee can happen in the streets of Clementi. Bring the little you have to Jesus and watch what He does with it!
Our Community Service ministries are in need of volunteers and there are people in need of our friendship and care. To learn more about our CLUB ministries (Care, Lead, Unchain and Baptize), click here. Jesus still loves to minister to people and he is still looking for those who will partner with him in caring for others. Will you be one of them?
Cultivating fresh compassion,