The parable we call the good Samaritan which Jesus told addresses the issue of the genuineness of our profession….the truth of our religious practice. (James 2:15-17) In fact I believe there are three kinds of people talked about in this parable:
1) The thief. What’s yours is mine, and I’m going to take it.
2) The selfish. What’s mine is mine, and I’m going to keep it.
3) The giver. What’s mine is God’s, and I’m going to give it.
Your life orientation is found in one of those scenarios. You are either taking from others what doesn’t belong to you, or you are keeping from others what could be a blessing out of self-preservation, or you are giving to others because God has put someone in your path for which you can make a difference.
Our church is voluntarily affiliated with three mission organizations….one called the Jacksonville Baptist Association, another called the Florida Baptist Convention, and the third is called the Southern Baptist Convention. The Jacksonville Association helps us stayed focused on local ministry needs. The SBC helps us see the nations and send people and go ourselves to the uttermost parts of the earth as Jesus commanded. The Florida Baptist Convention helps us mobilize to meet the needs of our State. Why do we partner with them?
In addition to reaching out to churches through giving low interest loans to rebuild after disaster, the convention also mobilizes Disaster Relief units to areas hit by natural disasters. We reach out to neighboring nations like Cuba and Haiti Brazil and the Cayman Islands to help plant churches and meet needs there. We are engaged in partnerships with unreached states like West Virginia and Nevada and Indiana. The convention’s ministry helps us reach out to migrant families who work the farms and fruit crops here in the State, and provides camps and ministries for their children…including Haitian, Korean, and Hispanic camps.
In recent years, Florida Baptist churches have been called to reach out to the prison population around our state not only by going behind the walls of the prisons but by developing ministries once the inmates are released back into society. The Florida Baptist missions strategy also includes ministries of church-based health care and a mobile dental clinic that targets urban centers and low-income areas.
These are ministries that are driven by one reality: God has put them in your path….and mine. We have to help them. We have the second largest lost population in America …largely centered in Miami and other urban centers across our State. Just a little commercial but a big ASK to request that you to be generous in what you place in the envelope entitled McGuire State Mission offering. It will go to help those bleeding alongside our highways and byways in Florida.
We can’t pass them by and do nothing.