Monday, 17 October 2011 16:53

To Lift the Fallen, to Care for the Young

Written by  Rev. Harding Ng
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To Lift the Fallen, to Care for the Young

Rev. Dr. Harding Ng
Senior Pastor of Toronto Christian Community Church

One of the main visions of TCCC is to become a community that champions social concern.  In order to attain this goal, we focus our efforts in the following areas:

Identifying with People’s Needs

In Jesus’ parable of separating the sheep from the goats (Matt. 25:31-46), the sheep are commended for their compassion. When they see others hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, and in prison… they are moved to lend a helping hand.  Jesus Himself set such an example: when He “saw” the people, He felt compassion towards them.  Our Lord quoted the prophet Isaiah in Luke 4:18: “the Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me, to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.” This is the gospel that concerns our “Whole” being.  Jesus, when He was on this earth, was constantly in contact with people seen as society’s rejects-lepers, prostitutes, tax collectors and thieves.  What He offered them was compassion, comfort, healing and hope.  He humbled Himself to serve others-even willingly washed His disciple’s’ feet.  He said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).  His words and actions show us that the followers of Christ should be willing to pay the price.

We thank God that TCCC has been actively involved in social concern and relief work.  In recent years, we have collected monetary donations for natural disasters, including earthquakes in Turkey and Taiwan, and flooding in China, Manitoba and Venezuela.

Locally, we have collected food, clothing and toys for the needy, visited seniors’ homes, etc.  In the future, we hope to improve and expand our areas of social concern, possible linking with local missions such as Yonge Street Mission which have the experience and expertise in reaching the needy in the inner-city.  In this way, our ministry may become more holistic.  May the Lord open our eyes that we may see others as He sees them.

The Gospel of Love in Action

A message is usually expressed through words, either spoken or written.  Here, the emphasis is placed on love in action.  In recent years, whenever, a Billy Graham Crusade is held, collection boxes are set up for donations of canned and dry food for the needy in that particular city.  In this way, the gospel message is brought to the city not just in words only but also through acts of Christian love.  A balance between faith and work should be established in the following areas:

* The word of life and the acts of love:

“As you hold out the word of life-in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour for nothing”(Phil. 2:16).

“ …but have not love, I gain nothing”(1 Cor. 13:1-3).

* Loving God and loving people:

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (1 John 3:17)

“For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God, …” (1 John 4:20-21)

* Faith and work:

“ Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27).

“ …faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:14-17)

* Evangelism and social concern:

The growth of the early church was directly linked to the believers’ selfless sharing of their material possessions.

“Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need” (Acts 2:45).

* Contributing to the immediate community and caring for all peoples:

“ Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).

“ …that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.  He causes His sun rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45).

Jesus’ Second Coming and His Judgment

When our Lord returns, He separates the goats from the sheep.  Some might query: “ Are we not saved by faith alone?” yes we are considered righteous based on faith, but genuine faith will always bear fruits of good work.  There are two kinds of sins, sins of commission and sins of omission.  If we deliberately ignore the commands to love and care for needy people, we will stand to be judged on day.  May the Lord find our church doing social concern on the day of His glorious return as a Judge.

The Expression of Our Spiritual Gifts in a Christ-like Life

Since serving others is a genuine expression of godliness, the Christian life should be a life of service to others.  In order to have a balanced spiritual life, we not only should engage in regular Bible study and prayer, but we should also constantly exercise our faith through serving.  The following is a self- checklist to see if we are “in shape” for our service:

Spiritual gifts: We should never use “I don’t have any spiritual gifts” as an excuse for not serving, for gifts are discovered and developed through actual involvement.  (Refer to 1 Cor. 12; Rom. 8; Eph. 4; 1 Pet. 4.)

Heart: Just as each person has a different heart rate, different people are inclined towards different areas of needs.  The most important thing is to serve with your whole heart.  (Refer to Matt. 12:34; Ps. 37:4; Prov. 4:23; 1 Sam. 12:20)

Abilities: God uses all kinds of abilities, whether they are intellectual, manual, musical, social, analytical, artistic, or athletic.  What He sees as most importnt, however, is our willingness to serve. (cf. Exo. 31:3; Deut. 8:18; 1 Cor. 12:5)

Personality: Whether you possess a personality as decisive as Paul’s, impulsive as Peter’s, melancholic as Jeremiah’s, or submissive as Abraham’s, remember that they were all mightily used by God.

Experiences: Experiences may include special training, work experiences, spiritual and service experiences.  God often uses suffering experiences to achieve His purposes.

We are all clay in the potter’s hands, being shaped into different utensils to be used for their unique purposes.   May we be the channels through which God’s grace reaches into the community and the lives of many.

In conclusion, Jesus once promised

” … Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.  You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:12-14).

We give thanks for God’s abundant grace for the past years, may the Lord continue to bless TCCC and all the ACEM churches in our endeavour to become a caring church in the community.

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 April 2020 11:11
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