Loving Those in Need

In Luke 14:16–24, Jesus told the parable about a man who “gave a great banquet and invited many” and he sent his servant to “Go out quickly to the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in the poor and crippled and blind and lame” to attend his feast.

Anna and I would often seek out such persons to whom we could show the love of Jesus. Never did we think that God would call us to live among those needy people. But that’s exactly what He did recently. We had been living in a relatively large apartment in a nice neighborhood, but because of a 6-month long mission trip that we were planning to take to Spain over the winter, the Lord led us to close our apartment and move our things into a complex of low-rent row houses that used to be a facility for the elderly, but which are now being used by the city to house the “poor, crippled, blind and lame,” what many might call the “dregs of society.”

When we went to look at this much smaller flat that was for rent, we saw many residents using canes or walkers. Since Anna had also been having difficulty walking, it was easy for her to approach those who would soon be our new neighbors. Having compassion for their affliction opened the door to share the love and truth of Jesus with them.

Now that we are back from our trip, this new situation is a gold mine of opportunity to share the Gospel, and we can simply step out the front door and start talking with people! Because these folks mostly lead solitary lives, they are lonely and so thankful for someone to talk with. Many spend time throughout the day sitting outside their door. These conditions have made it exceptionally easy for us to approach people and strike up conversations and tell them about how much Jesus loves them.

Now we understand more clearly why the “certain man” in Jesus’ parable sent his servant to call the outcasts to his feast. People who are in more comfortable or successful circumstances might think they don’t need Jesus, but not these folks! They readily receive Him!

Throughout our years of service to Jesus, we have, as Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 9:22, been willing to “become all things to all people, that by all means [we] might save some.” And we are happy that the Lord has led us to this special opportunity.

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