I want you to meet an everyday saint named Travis Bishop. He is a Christian business owner from Martinsburg, West Virginia. Brother Travis saw the devastation brought on by the floods that are ravishing his neighbors in nearby Clendenin. Travis decided to do something about it. Brother Travis has been leading a rescue operation for the past seven days, closing up his business and spearheading an effort to meet the needs of people. You can listen to an interview he did on my friend Tom Roten’s radio show here:
Brother Travis is showing what Jesus had in mind when it comes to generous giving. He told Tom that, “True charity comes from people not the government.” You could “Amen” that until Jesus returns. When our brothers and sisters, and neighbors for that matter, are in need, we are to respond in love and meet those needs. The is the true sign of faith:
“What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:14-17)
Now the great leader of the Reformation Martin Luther hated this passage. He thought of James, the brother of Jesus, as almost a heretic. However, Luther misunderstood James’ meaning. Works are not the reason we are saved; they are the evidence that we are saved. Continue reading James 2 and you will see that a faith that displays no works is no better than the demons saying they believe in the one true God.
Another example of Christian charity is found in Acts 11, where a prophet named Agabus, filled with the Holy Spirit, told Paul and Barnabas and the rest of the disciples that there was going to be a great famine throughout the world. So instead of looking at this huge international crisis and throwing their hands up in despair, they took action:
“Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.” (Acts 11:29-30)
These disciples did exactly what Brother Travis is doing. They looked to their surroundings and decided to do what they could do, “each according to his ability.” When you listen to the podcast, you will hear Brother Travis explain the seemingly simple yet important steps to get goods to the those in need.
We can look at the enormity of a problem and say, “How can we possibly help?” That is often just an excuse for inaction. What we need to ask is, “How can we help,” and do so each according to our abilities.
What I would like to do is repay Travis for his kindness. I have begun a Go Fund Me campaign to raise $5000 to give to Travis to cover lost income and personal expenses. You can donate any amount, each according to your ability, at http://gofundme/2c45vh5a
Brother Travis is not only meeting the needs of desperate people; he is spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ through true Christian charity.
There is no telling how many people Travis is touching, but he is able to let them know he is helping them because of Jesus.
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Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers
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