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Show God’s Love to His People

And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
— Acts 10:38 (NLT)

Once, I heard a story about a man who went to Russia with good intentions to tell people about the love of Jesus Christ. During his visit, many people were starving. When he found a line of people waiting hopefully to get bread for the day, he began to walk down the line, telling them that Jesus loved them and handing each person a tract with the salvation message on it. To be sure, he was trying to help, but one woman looked into his eyes and said bitterly, "Your words are nice, but they don't fill my empty stomach."

Like the man in the story, I’ve learned that oftentimes people are hurting too badly to hear the good news that God loves them; they have to experience it. And one of the best ways they can experience God's love is for us to meet their practical needs, then tell them they are loved by God.

We need to be careful of the thought that words alone are enough. Jesus certainly preached the good news, but He also went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed (see Acts 10:38). Talking is not expensive, nor does it require much effort, but real love is costly. It cost God His only Son, and allowing that same amazing love to flow through us will always cost us something. We might need to invest some time, money, effort, or possessions, but it will be worth it.

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What can we do? We can care, we can stay informed, we can pray, and we can take action. We can support ministries and organizations that are helping others in need, or if God asks us to, we might choose to work in these arenas. Even if full-time work isn’t your calling, you might be able to help by taking on a project here and there, or by donating your time on a short-term mission trip. God loves all people, and He invites us to join Him in helping those who are hurting all over the world.

Prayer Starter: Father, please show me how I can help people who are hurting, and open doors for me to share Your love with someone who needs it today. Thank You for reaching out to me when I needed You, and for helping me do the same for others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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