Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…. James 1:27a
Listen: James 1
James watches firsthand how the church helps “orphans and widows in their distress.” The church spreads throughout “Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). As it grows, James sees people in the church, periodically, selling assets to give that money to the church. The church uses the money to meet critical needs (Acts 4:33-37). In Acts 9, Tabitha makes clothing for widows. In Acts 10, Cornelius, an Italian soldier, “gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly” (Acts 10:2). From the beginning, the church demonstrates compassionate action collectively and individually.
We do the same at Ada Bible Church.
First, we meet needs collectively whether’s it’s youth and chaperone teams cleaning up in Houston in the hard, hot June heat or sponsoring needed surgeries and medical equipment for children through Cure International. Watch the video clip as Senior Pastor Jeff Manion explains below.
Second, thousands of people who attend Ada Bible meet needs individually. They do this mentoring a kid in the neighborhood, providing a meal for a family in need, or donating a vehicle to someone needing reliable transportation. What we are capable of doing individually is so important—and can crush what we do collectively.
As a church, we want to mirror the heart of God. We work to ease pain and suffering collectively and individually—not underestimating God’s desire to deploy us towards needs he wants to meet through us.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Allow your heart to beat with God’s heart. Thank God for the opportunity (and privilege) to help thousands of people here and around the world. Find somewhere to step in. This might mean working collectively by giving during service, bringing items for the Giving Tables or serving on a missions team. Then look for a way (maybe for the first time) to alleviate pain and suffering individually. Don’t wait for a program or nonprofit organization. Deliver a meal, mentor or provide something tangible to see and meet a need in a powerful way.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.