There are many ideas and opinions today about serving those in need. There has also been a tremendous amount of conflict over who should and should not be served and welcomed into our beautiful community. With a lot of rhetoric and Bible quoting this last month, my heart felt a burden to make sure that the needs within Bonner County were being met. Now. Not just for those that are not in the community yet since there are many people in our County that live below the poverty line. Many people struggle to afford their housing and food and domestic violence is consistent as our local radio tells us regularly about the latest case of abuse that has made it to court (many don’t).
So what is it that can change these arenas in our county that are so desperately in need of change? I believe the simple answer is to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to every arena of our culture and the marketplace. Unfortunately, many people who just read that line tuned out because again, in a fairly God-fearing, Christian-based community, that is simply more rhetoric, though it is desperately true.
What I would like to do is paint a picture of what it means when the power of God and the redemptive blood of Jesus arrives on the scene. Since it is Good News it should impact everyone unless of course we choose to hide it under a bushel, or the flavor of our lives becomes tasteless.
There are four arenas of poverty that we know Jesus talks about in His Sermon on the Mount that can be categorized as follows: Spiritual Poverty, Physical Poverty, Motivational Poverty and Relational Poverty. When the Gospel of the Kingdom of God comes to a community these four arenas are changed for the better. Here is where the accuser, the complainer and the “realist” generally begin to question whether this is true and point to one-line scriptures to discount the truth of the fullness of the Gospel of redemption. One parable puts all this into perspective, and it is the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Instead of avoiding getting involved, or passing by the deep needs of the hurt and wounded, the Samaritan stopped and served selflessly the man on the side of the road. The Samaritan was willing to sacrifice, willing to trust, and willing to invest in the healing of this man. It didn’t matter the history of the hurt man, what mattered is that the Samaritan knew that he needed to act on the need in front of him. When we are willing to serve those in need from the perspective of the Good Samaritan, we will see those that are hurting around find healing. We will see hope return to the hopeless, peace come to the broken home and freedom to those who have been bound.
The Gospel of Jesus in action is the key to seeing Bonner County redeemed and seeing those things that plague our beautiful county removed. Bless your neighbors, adopt your street in prayer, fellowship with those in need, minister and pray for those needs, and as those needs are met, the Good News of Jesus Christ will usher many into the Kingdom of God and we will be able to call Bonner County, God’s County.
Pastor Chris is the Pastor at Hidden Valley Worship Center 3 miles north of Ponderay on Highway 95. You can get more information at www.hvwc.com and you can adopt your street at www.transformourworld.org.