We are to be an unrelenting source of help to our communities, never giving up on a single person.
Today, let me share an essay written by Matthew Barnett for “The Mission of God Study Bible.” Matthew is the author of “The Church That Never Sleeps” and “The Cause Within You” and pastor of one of America’s fasting growing churches, – The Dream Center. The church is reaching more than 30,000 people each week in the Center’s 40 services and nearly two hundred ministries today. Additionally, more than 100 independent Dream Centers have been launched nationally, as well as internationally.
by Matthew Barnett
The name Isaiah means “salvation of the Lord,” and the book of Isaiah stresses that salvation comes from God and not mankind. Considered one of the greatest and most eloquent prophets, Isaiah’s writings were a message of salvation for the people of Judah. He urged them to let go of their sin and embrace the saving grace of the Lord.
Believers are to strive for purity and set an example for those who are separated from God. We must live our lives serving God’s mission, striving to be representative of His character. We are emissaries for God’s love, and the most important way we can show this love is in the way we care for the poor and downtrodden. As it says in Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor.”
If every church took in one homeless person, homelessness would be eradicated. Salvation is the ultimate goal, but few will consider spiritual salvation when they are physically starving. I believe there is a movement where churches are pushing the limits of the way they help the world. They are taking on ambitious projects to feed the homeless, clean up cities, and speak life into people. When I came to Los Angeles I had a dream of a 24/7 church that would be a refuge to hurting people. For over 15 years the Dream Center has served Los Angeles, showing broken people that they can have an amazing future. Thousands have gone through our discipleship program, turning from hopelessness to new beginnings. Weekly we feed thousands in poverty-stricken areas. Families who were living on the street have found a place to stay while they get their lives together.
God is the only path to salvation and all glory goes to Him. Once people have seen the restorative power of God’s love, a transformation begins to occur. They find hope. They have peace and joy when they wake up. Poverty and regret once consumed their lives; now they see a future of possibilities.
We are to be an unrelenting source of help to our communities, never giving up on a single person. The church should live every day with the intent of encouraging someone, showing them such joy and love that they would be inspired to turn to the God of salvation and restoration. My father, Pastor Tommy Barnett, always lived with the philosophy of “find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it.” As Christians we are to be a light to the world. As we live our lives with a message of hope and salvation, this light will only grow brighter. It is our duty as representatives of God to encourage where no one else would, to love someone and give them hope no matter how far they have fallen, to feed the poor and care for the sick, to restore broken lives, and by showing this love, lead them to salvation in Christ.