The Church: God’s Benevolent Hand

The Church: God’s Benevolent Hand

God has always had a benevolent hand (caring touch) in the world, through laws (Ex. 22:25-27; Deut. 24:19-21), through Jesus Christ His Son (Acts 10:38) and through His church (Rom. 12:13). Jesus does His work in the world today through His church (Eph. 2:10) and if we do not do the work of Christ we become the corpses of Christ, not his body. Part of the work of the church involves benevolence and mercy. Jesus performed miracles of mercy (Matt. 11:4-5). These miracles were motivated by compassion (Matt. 14:14). Jesus also taught us to be concerned with human needs (Matt. 25:31-46). The pattern for our involvement in the work of the church is clear, from Luke (Acts 6:1-4), from Paul (Rom. 12:13) and from James (James 1:27). It is love that ought to be our motive in all practical assistance (1 John 3:16-18). Also, our benevolent acts are not limited to saints only (Gal. 6:10).

There is a lot of work to do. The human plight in the world is vast. All around us people are suffering from hunger, illness (physical and  mental), homelessness, joblessness; there are orphans, widows and widowers, and those who are in the far country of moral sin. Our tendency is to avoid and ignore such people. We have no such example from our Lord (Matt. 9:10-13). So we need to understand that there is work to do and the opportunity is all around us. Benevolence is an individual responsibility (Acts 9:36). You may offer your time working to assist disaster victims. Benevolence is a congregational activity (Acts 6:1- 4). The church here is looking for ways to partner with a faithful congregation in affected areas to help however we can. Benevolence is a cooperative efforts among churches (Rom. 15:26). Churches of Christ will work together to relieve the suffering of many.

The value of such involvement is two-fold: The love of Christ is seen only as his church acts; and We show our love to Christ as we help those in need (Matt. 25:40). Our efforts to evangelize will be equal to the love and compassion that people see in us. May God help us to see the value of benevolence as a key to effective evangelism.


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