Focal Passage: Luke 4:16-30
In the religious and Christian world there is a misconception that our lives are separated into the sacred and the secular, the pious and the profane. We divide the physical and the spiritual into two separate entities.
As Christians, we attempt to divide it as a spiritual gospel and a social gospel. Some groups are so earthly minded that they focus on a person’s physical needs and neglect their spiritual need of salvation.
Others focus only on the need of salvation and neglect the physical. Both extremes are erroneous views of Christ’s teaching. It is not an either/or – it is both.
The books of Galatians and James complement and are both necessary in our Bible. Galatians reminds us that salvation is by grace without any work on our part. James reminds us that if we have received this grace it will be visible in our actions.
You are probably familiar with the story of the young boy and the starfish. The story goes that every morning along a beach, thousands of starfish were washed ashore.
There they would dry out and die. One day an older man was watching as a young boy would pick up a starfish and hurl it back into the sea. When the boy was close, the older man scoffed, “Son, there are so many, you can’t make a difference.”
The boy paused, thought, and then picked up another starfish and threw it in.
“Made a difference for that one,” he said. Thinking about the boy’s remark, the older man began to pick up starfish and throw them in.
Christ’s mission is to reach out to the ones who have washed ashore and are dying. He came to save souls. However, He demonstrated that the love of God was not mere words, but actions (1 John 3:18). Jesus told us in Matthew 5:16 to do good deeds so that people will see God.
When we catch the vision of the whole gospel, see the vast range of Christ’s concern, we will be compelled to take action that will “make a difference for that one.”