We’ve had the privilege of working with a lot of homeless folks recently at DSC. It seems that when you start offering financial/nutritional help, word gets out… fast. However, we’ve been impressed with our own lack of ability to help get people back on their feet. Its a DSC policy that we don’t give hand-outs, we give hand-ups. Cheesy, but it gets the point across: we want to get people back on their feet so that they can reintegrate as stable, self-sustaining members of society.
So, in our struggle to meet real needs as well as push for change in their lives, we’ve been thinking through how the gospel confronts homelessness, as it does every other thing in our lives. I’ve written out a quick survey of my thoughts below on this issue. This is NOT a gospel presentation, and I don’t intend to use it as such, but it helps me to think systematically through this so that I can better apply the gospel when I’m talking with homeless people who I have the honor of ministering to. (Mat 25:40) I wonder if you guys would look over this and let me know how I can be more loving/biblical/christ-centered/whatever else you see. I’m sure there are lots of areas of improvement so please be free with your suggestions and corrections.
1. God is establishing a kingdom
2. The kingdom has been broken by sin (sin = treason against the king of the world)
3. Jesus came to restore kingdom and reconcile us (sinners)
4. We have to recognize our need for him, we all are enemies of God, Jesus died to take the punishment, Jesus earned the free gift of forgiveness for us (thats why the church gives)
5. That is the good news of Jesus, He died so that we could be friends with God and forgiven for our sins
6. All we have to do is trust in Jesus and the good news becomes good news for us
7. But God is always challenging us, testing us so that we grow to be more like Jesus. He asks questions like, “do you believe in Jesus this much?” God finds the idols in our lives (things that we love more than we love him) and he challenges us to knock them down
8. One of the idols that we see in your life that God wants you to knock down is idleness (not working).
9. You have 2 choices:
A. Ignore God and go your own way, or…
B. Recognize that you’ve done wrong (idleness), ask God to help you to do right (to find work and be motivated to do it), then start working