Table of Good (10/5/17)

Pastor Mario R. Padilla · Wednesday, October 4, 2017
We Christians, followers of Jesus, are taught something basic. The God who created this gigantic universe if pure love. This God is Good and Beautiful. This Awesome God created humanity in the Image of Himself. Pure love created us in love. The God who is love put this powerful love within us. He gave us the most important command of all, love God, love the neighbor as the self.

Life is all about love, about relationships. Love and relationships are eternal, forever! Jesus came to earth, became an embodiment of love, and taught, lived, and did love. He commanded love. He told his followers they would be recognized as his by their love for one another.

We read that Jesus went around doing good. He taught his followers to do good. To be his instruments of his love and good and peace. Those followers living in the first century in the Roman Empire were encouraged by Jesus through Paul, do not be discouraged, do not become tired doing the good…. They did not. We, today, must not.

While you have time, be working and doing the good towards all, everyone, everything. As we see evil grow and spread, as hatred expands, and division surrounds and polarizes us, we must not grow weary. We must not grow tired or give up on doing the good that Jesus taught us to do. He has placed us here as his instruments of his love and good.

I saw this good being done while we were in Milwaukee, WI for a week on the CYG Mission trip. Milwaukee is the fourth poorest city in the United States. It is deeply segregated and divided. We say, heard, and were part of the good of Jesus in Milwaukee.

We heard stories of God’s work in the lives of people. We heard and saw God working through people to help and serve others. Through this and with Next Step Ministries a playground was built for children in a poor neighborhood. Each day we made 1,600 lunches that were delivered to children and families at parks around Milwaukee. Children received free lunch, played games, and were part of a Bible club run by the Salvation Army and us. We heard the story of Steve, who gave up his good job and moved to Milwaukee. He was led by God to minister to and serve the poor in the city, those in gangs, those who sell and do drugs. His ministry is called Adullam. I saw the good as we prayed with total strangers for total strangers. The good of Jesus takes many forms.

I see the good as people respond to the needy and hurting in Texas after Hurricane Harney. JJ Watt of the Houston Texans has raised $18.5 million in relief of those in need. We see and hear stories of people doing the good in response to Irma in Florida, the earthquakes in Mexico, the decimation of the Caribbean Islands, and Puerto Rico after these horrific hurricanes. People doing the good to help those in need.

Let us not be afraid to come together and pray the good, talk the good, plan the good, and go out and do the good. The world still needs to see love and good embodied. Let it be us, our skin, that embodies them. Why not? (We will call a community meeting soon to do all of the above.)

Listen to what James Bryan Smith writes in this book The Magnificent Story, p. 8:

That which is good makes us better, heals us, restores us, improves us, strengthens us, and makes us right, perhaps when we are wrong. We are naturally drawn to goodness, and unless there is some brokenness in us we are naturally repelled by evil.
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