From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Today Christian service is often mistaken for humanitarian work. It’s important to remember that Christ called His followers to proclaim His message. Ministering to people’s souls is far greater than providing only physical needs. However, we earn the opportunity to share Christ when a helpful hand has been extended to someone in need. Then you can say with Paul, “I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience.”
Then there are some who are certain of God’s call to service in a foreign land. When this is true, people need to take the necessary steps to prepare themselves. But often people are sure that this is what God wants them to do, yet they are not willing to sacrifice or prepare. They have the spirit of adventure, not service.
A youth group traveled to the Middle East to help in a small mission hospital. When they arrived in the hot desert, they were disgruntled with the accommodations and the sandstorms that swept through the mission station. When they were asked to prepare medicine packs for patients the next day, they quickly left for the city to find air conditioning and a good time. The nurse at the hospital later told the mission agency that had sent them, “Please don’t send any more help!”
Scripture tells us to “serve the Lord without distraction” (1 Corinthians 7:35). Serving others in the name of Jesus Christ is serious business, and to say with Paul, “I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:10, NLT).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)