Want to change the world? Then, change it!
Posted by Rod Neufeld on December 22, 2017
I recently had the privilege to work the Compassion Canada table at a Dan Bremnes concert. As always, it was a great experience just being a part of one of those events. I sat and listened as Dan spoke about being overwhelmed by the great needs in the world and how God revealed to him that he was not expected to move mountains, only to take a simple step of faith. God would take care of the mountain moving for him.
These were wonderful words, but I also need to see things for myself. I’m just wired that way. I think that’s okay, though, because the more people see for themselves, the greater their ability to witness to others.
I started reading, “Can Man Live Without God” by Ravi Zacharias and it occurred to me that we live in an unbelieving world. This is what the Bible tells us. However, the majority of people in North America no longer believe what the Bible says. None of this was news to me, but this time it made its way further down to my heart. You see, head knowledge is good, but it must be linked with heart truths to be useful. Jesus said we must share the “truth in love”. I believe this is one of the applications of that statement.
“but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—” Ephesians 4:15 (NKJV)
So, here is the problem: The world doesn’t really want to believe. Yet, we all want to change the world. How do you change a world filled with people that reject the truth? How do you reach the heart of man and convince him that there is indeed absolute truth? The problem, as Dan spoke about, is truly overwhelming and frustrating.
I believe you have to decide: Do you want to change the world for yourself or do you want to make it better for everyone on it? It will be the crossroads in your life. You have to decide if it is about you or about making things truly and honestly better for everyone. Many people, under the guise of benevolence, have done things that were selfish though they convinced themselves it was selfless. That will be the decision that will truly define you.
Here is the test:
- Do you do good things knowing that nobody may ever know about it?
- Do you like people to know all the good you have done?
- Do you sacrifice until it hurts?
- Have you done these acts of benevolence out of your abundance knowing that it will not really affect they way you live?
Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay that you get recognized for doing good. Just make sure that’s not your intent. Jesus points this out in scripture very clearly:
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matthew 6:1-4 (NKJV)
We live in a time when little can remain hidden. Many will know of your good works though your intent is not to be known by them. I hope that makes sense! The point is that it is not our focus to do good for the sake of doing good but doing good for the sake of others that they may be helped and God may be glorified in it. When we give all the glory to God we are simply humbling ourselves and recognizing that this thing is bigger than us. Humility is a virtue that is greatly needed in our world today.
I do my best to do good and I fail often, while succeeding at times. I truly believe that when I empty myself and do it for God’s glory and not my own recognition that those times are truly successful. I have come to understand that what is in scripture is true. Nothing good can come from me unless it is Christ in me that does it (John 15:5). When I do something to make a difference it is Christ flowing out of me. I am simply the vessel He chose at that moment.
This is something with which this generation, and every generation, struggles.
So, here I am on vacation in a tropical paradise and I find myself up in the middle of the night, convicted and humbled. We spent the day with Danna, our sponsor child from Compassion. We hugged, talked and we spoiled her. I felt a bit guilty in a way because we came with much in the way of gifts, but we gave out of our abundance. I just wanted her to have an awesome Christmas. They presented us with a gift which I cherish, not because it is something I just had to have, but because, like the woman that gave two copper mites, it was given out of love:
“and He [Jesus] saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”” Luke 21:2-4 (NKJV)
The greatest gift was seeing the smiles, knowing that we provided for needs and it will be helpful in their lives. Knowing that even though we gave out of our abundance it did make a difference beyond what we can comprehend.
Do you truly want to change the world? Then change one person’s world! You have no idea how far that one act will reach. Let me try to explain.
The day we sponsored Danna, a door opened for another child to get into the program. Food, education, and best of all, Christ! The more my wife and I volunteer with Compassion the more we see that even a seemingly small act of kindness can reach so far, way beyond what we can even imagine. With one child sponsored, entire families are helped, friends are helped, communities are helped and even cities are helped. This is just one way to change the world.
A final thought:
I have witnessed first hand the power of God change a person. I have witnessed with my eyes and ears the change only He can make in someone’s life. You see, poverty and struggle are not only physical, they are spiritual issues. Until you change the heart, you can’t truly change anything. The Bible reminds us that circumstances need not define us. Our circumstances change from moment to moment. It is simply how we respond that makes the difference.
I’m reminded of a cute but true saying…. No Christ, No Peace, Know Christ, Know Peace. Never has it been more true in a world and culture that knows very little of peace because they don’t know Christ.
To find out more about Compassion Canada and the work they do, go to www.compassion.ca