Of all of the Master Teachers who have changed this world it seems indisputable that Jesus Christ transformed our world for the better in his short 3 years more so than any other person or individual. The result of his gospel and teachings is that over 2.2 Billion people around the globe today profess to be followers of his gospel of truths. In the first book of the new testament in the 25th chapter Jesus explains the type of people who are true followers of his gospel and how they will inherit the kingdom of God, “35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
Of all of the organizations in the US that focus on feeding the hungry the local state and regional food banks make an exceptional effort to feed the hungry. Much of what they do to assist young families and children who are struggling to put food on the table is a very noble cause and consistently they do a nice job of making sure the majority of donations especially the food donations go directly to those in need. Giving food and money is a great start to any of your local food banks, but when you give of your time then you really create a powerful change in your local community. As much as we see people in far off countries who are in need, there are. According to feedingamerica.org there are 48 Million Americans who struggle to find enough food to subsist and among them 15 million children, starting there is a great place to start, that means there are likely tens of thousands of adults and children who could benefit from our assistance with local Food Banks. Simply begin by Clicking here to find a Local Food Bank to work with!
So the numbers differ according to different studies done, but the bottom line is that there are most likely a few million individuals, families and worst of all children who are homeless at a given point during the year. In areas where winters are harsh and living conditions are more challenging than we can imagine it is a very dire situation. Again these issues abound around the world, however in many cases there are likely hundreds if not thousands of homeless within a few miles of your home and thanks to the internet it has never been easier to donate money, time and resources to local homeless shelters. Again time is just as valuable if not more valuable than the money and resources that we can provide the homeless, to donate money or your time to serve your local homeless communities Click Here!
So this one is a little more challenging to find solutions for or perhaps maybe it’s even easier than the first two mandates that we covered, we are all aware of local thrift shops where we can donate gently used clothing where those who are in need can purchase it at a tremendous discount which is excellent. You can also contact one of the homeless shelters from our previous link above and schedule a time to bring specific clothing needed for men, women or children, perhaps the best thing to do is simply read this article it seems to have the best answers on how you can clothe the naked.
When it comes to visiting the sick there are many ways we can participate in this meaningful activity, again it is our time that is our most valuable asset, when we share our time with someone who is sick who could really benefit and be uplifted by one of us, that is a huge opportunity that all of us often neglect. We probably all know someone who is a family member or friend who is ill and potentially hospitalized and needing our help, to visit them it is simply a matter of making the appointment or just showing up to their bedside. With each of these categories I tend to think first of young children, you can often contact a local hospital within minutes of where you live and find children, elderly or sick who would welcome a visit to read a book or simply help uplift the sick. Best advice on visiting the sick.
I have to be honest this one is the last in Jesus’ requests and it is not easy if you don’t actually know someone who is imprisoned. If you have a family or friend who is in prison then it is simple to go visit them, if you are simply looking for someone to visit in prison that you don’t know that may be difficult and nearly impossible. One idea that I have is I want to find out what it would take to provide classes to teach new skills to the imprisoned so that they have an easier time or securing employment when they are released. An idea that I have seen succeed is to contact a local prison and ask about offering a program to teach the imprisoned some unique classes. If you do pay attention to this important opportunity to lift someone up then you will probably be able to find someone who is a family member, friend or previous co-worker who could use your help. Here is the best article I have seen on visiting the imprisoned.