December 31 Devotional

We ran a summer camp for inner-city children in Maryland for eight years of our lives.  It was one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences we have ever known.  We began the camps by having a six week program.  We started with three weeks for local children from the suburbs, and ended with three weeks for inner-city Baltimore children.  After the first year, I requested to have no weeks for the children from our area and make the camp fully focused on the inner-city children.  I was given permission to do that, and our camp became a tremendous outreach into the inner-city for our local church.  During the winter months (when there was no camp), I was attending a Pastor’s fellowship and met a Pastor from inner-city Philadelphia (near where I was born and raised).  We began to talk, and in the process of explaining our ministries to each other, we began to talk about the possibility of bringing his young people to our camp.  We decided to bring a group of his Philly kids to our existing Baltimore week to see how things would work.  It did not take long to find out.

 

The first day of camp, mixing the two cities together, we discovered that Baltimore kids “talk” about fighting each other a great deal.  Philly kids don’t “talk” at all … they “walk!”  The first day, a Baltimore kid threatened a Philly kid, and the Philly kid punched them right in the face (they were girls by the way)!  I thought about this situation when reading in the book of James today (I know … I have a warped mind).  “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, ‘Thou hast faith, and I have works:’ Show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith BY my works” (James 2:17-18).  God is interested in your actions and your works meeting and getting actively engaged in His Great Commission!  He’s not about standing around talking about what we are planning to do … He is all about us rolling our sleeves up and getting into the battle for Him!

 

Now, don’t go out and punch someone in the face today and blame me!  But get off your spiritual couch and get involved in the work of the Lord.  There are far too many “Monday morning quarterbacks” in the army of the Lord.  There is no lack for advice about how to do something for God.  There is no lack of criticism for those who are attempting to do something for God.  There are plenty of people who are willing to tell you that what God touched your heart to do, cannot be done!  Don’t waste another minute listening to those who simply “talk” about what they are going to do, or what needs to be done … put feet to your faith and get involved in what God is doing in our world today!  You will not be disappointed that you did.

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