Let it Overflow: Just Because
When driving around just about any town in the United States, and indeed in many other countries as well, it is almost inevitable that there will be a church building of some kind or another on almost every street you come to. We all know passages such as Hebrews 13:16, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God,” and I Timothy 6:17-19, “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” These passages are two of many where God clearly commands his people to do good deeds, to serve and be generous, to be a light in this world and reflect the love of God to those around us.
Yet in many ways this is actually really difficult in our world. When there is a church building on every street corner how does the Lord’s church differentiate itself from every other group that meets in every other building? When the name “Christian” has been defamed and desecrated by those who bear it and live ungodly lives, how do we show a dark and dying world who Christ really is? When we do good deeds, how do we ensure that Jesus Christ gets the glory?
Recently in our congregation we have begun a new ministry specifically designed to address these concerns: our “Just Because” ministry. (My husband got the idea from the Lewisville church of Christ in Lewisville, TX.) The basic idea is that we are to live just as God instructed us to: holy lives dedicated to ministering to and serving others. My husband has encouraged our congregation to be even more attentive to those around them and seek out opportunities to do good. The options are endless! You could: help an older person load their groceries in the car, pay for someone else’s meal or groceries, clean up someone’s yard, send an encouraging card to a non-Christian you have been trying to reach out to, send a care package to someone in the community who has lost a loved one, visit the hospital and take cards to the sick there, visit the nursing home, make cookies for police, firemen, military, etc., take care packages to newborns at the hospital, use your imagination! And then you simply hand them a “Just Because” card and walk away. It’s beautiful!
My husband opted to order our cards from Vista Print because they were some of the cheapest he was able to find, and he chose a bright color to make it stand out more. On the front the cards say, “JUST BECAUSE” and have our congregation’s information: name, address, phone number, etc.. However I really love the back which states, “This random act of kindness was done for you out of a desire to be like Christ.” And then quotes Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Our congregation has embraced this ministry whole-heartedly and it has been tremendous to see! Our cards arrived and were made available on a Sunday, and by Tuesday morning ladies’ Bible class our ladies were buzzing about it. One even said, “I have already given out two cards, and it was so much fun! I can’t wait to do it again!” For our own family it has also helped us become more aware of ways to let the love of Christ show as we go throughout our daily lives in a world filled with increasing darkness. Our kiddos love the idea and have even begun carrying their own cards. I absolutely love seeing the glow of excitement on the faces of my eight and ten year old as they say, “Mommy, can I go ________ and give them a card?!”
Sisters, the world needs us. We are the only feet, hands, and heart that Jesus has on this earth now. The world is hurting, they are struggling, they are discouraged, and they feel alone and like no one truly cares. It is up to us to show them that God cares for them, and so do we. It is up to us to show them that we are different, and so is Jesus Christ. How will you show the world this month?