Thursday, October 30, 2014

Serving the Poor Helps YOU, not the Poor

In the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16.19-31) the un-named rich man was in the torment of Hell because he refused to serve the sick and poor man named Lazarus. Many times we think that it is the poor that benefit from our charity, but according to Gospel, this is not the case. When we feed the hungry their stomach might be filled, but it is our soul that fills with the love of God and enjoys unity with Him. As an alternative, when we refuse to help the poor, while their stomach might remain empty, their soul is filled with the comfort and love of God. It is our soul that remains empty of God’s compassion.

When we serve others, we are expressing our love for God and our soul is rewarded with comfort and welcomed by God. If that is the case, we could also say that serving the poor is actually ministering to OUR soul and is therefore “just as” if not more important the every other parish ministry. Each ministry our Church offers, from HOPE/JOY/GOYA to Sunday School & Greek School; from Parish Council & Philoptochos to Church dinners at which WE eat & serving the poor at which the POOR eat; each of these ministries has the same effect. Our soul grows closer to Jesus Christ, our Lord God and Savior.

The next time you are presented with the opportunity to serve the poor, remember you are preparing your future. Will you serve the poor and experience the comfort and welcome of God, or will you serve yourself and experience torment and loneliness in Heaven? Just don’t forget this one urgent point....the “great chasm” the rests between comfort and torment is created by the choices you make today.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

God Wants You to be a Martyr

In a day when our world is frantically searching wealth and honor, Christians are daily called to choose between worldly priorities and a Godly life. Your willingness to live the faith of Christ through the choices of your life reflects the importance of God in your life, and will be a witness of your faith to those around you. You are a living martyr when you allow others to see your commitment to Christ in your choices, and your martyrdom will draw others to Christ in the same way martyrs drew believers to Christ. Are you willing, or even wanting, to allow your choices to be a martyr for Christ?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Difference Between Can't and Won't

"It don’t think that means what you think it means." There is a BIG difference between 'I can’t' and 'I won’t' that it makes me believe this quote from one of my favorite movies is appropriate. Here are some examples...

What you say: “I can’t come to Church.”
What you mean: “I won’t come to Church because I have no intention making Church a priority. I’m just going to tell you I can’t come and hope you won’t ask for details.”

What you say: “I can’t read the Bible every day.”
What you mean: “I won’t even try to read the Bible today. I have too many other important things like posting on Facebook and watching American Idol.

What you say: “I can’t tithe to the Church.”
What you mean: “I won’t give up anything I am currently buying just to give more money to the Church. It’s my money, and I can do with it what I want.”

What you say: “I can’t chair that Church event.”
What you mean: “I won’t chair that event, but I don’ have the courage to tell you why.”

What you say: “I can’t fast.”
What you mean: “I won’t let the Church tell me what to eat. It isn’t what goes IN your mouth but what comes OUT that matters.”

The list goes on, but this last one is the point. When you refuse to be honest by telling someone you can’t do something, when you could but you won’t, what is coming OUT of your mouth is not the truth. And you know what not telling the truth is...