Tag Archives: love

Reasons Churches Shouldn’t Be Taxed

 

A growing number of people in America seem to be church haters.  Their main spoken objections to churches is that they are tax exempt. However, there are at least five reasons why they should be exempt.

  1. Churches do not sell a product.
  2. They exist only on donations. The money given has already been taxed.
  3. They perform acts of charity. They feed, clothe, counsel, educate, and provide shelter, housing, and medical care for the poor and needy. They provide children’s homes and orphanages. They provide shelter and food for the homeless and helpless. Church members continuously give millions of unpaid, volunteer hours to hospitals and nursing homes. It is impossible to list all the good that is done by churches and their people. In recent years, churches have formed disaster relief teams and go into areas after floods, tornadoes, and other things and provide help that the government doesn’t. The Saddleback Church went into Louisiana after the Katrina disaster. They sent 17 semi truckloads of food, diapers, and formula to help the needy. Each Monday, they help 300-400 families with bags of groceries and do many other charitable things.
  4. Any organization that exists off donations and does charitable work qualifies for tax exemption. If you take away that exemption from churches, fairness dictates that all charitable organizations should lose their exemptions as well. Wouldn’t that be a sad day?
  5. They make valuable contributions to society. Churches, synagogues, and mosques, through their teachings of the Law (The 10 Commandments), and love (the teachings of Jesus) contribute to the order and stability of society. Without such invisible under girding, people revert to the law of the jungle.

Robert Wilkerson is a minister, Christian writer and co-founder of People For the Christian Way.

 

 

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A MOTHER’S LOVE

Near the cross of Jesus stood His mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdelene.
-John 19:25 (NIV)

MOTHER'S DAY CLIPART
The thunder boomed, the lightening flashed, and the rain poured relentlessly. In the middle of the storm, a country mother ran to the barn, hitched up a buckboard and rode out into the night. The journey before her was a long and dangerous one.

She was a Civil War mother who had gotten word that her son had been seriously wounded, and was in a military hospital many miles away. Her journey took her across creeks raging with water. Sometimes, it seemed like the mud would defeat her, but on she went. At great danger to herself, she approached the enemy’s lines and using the noise of the storm and the darkness of the night, she slipped through them.

Finally, she found the hospital. It was crowded with cots filled with suffering and dying soldiers. As she made her way between them, she saw her son. He had been blinded in battle. When she got to him, she didn’t say a word. She knelt beside him and reached over gently, putting her hand on his head. Instantly he said, “Mother, I knew you would come! I knew you would come!”

Whether it is Mary standing at the foot of the cross, or a country woman searching for her son, a mother’s love is very much like God’s love. He comes to us when we need Him and He stands by us through thick and thin.
Prayer: Dear God, help us to love as you do. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
A mother’s love is akin to God’s.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson, is a minister, writer, and president of People for the Christian Way, from Birmingham, Alabama. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net

DOING WHAT WE CAN

Mark 14:1-9

Jesus was at the home of Simon the leper. During supper, a woman came in with a beautiful flask of expensive perfume. Then she broke the seal and poured it over his head.

“That’s wasteful,” some of them said. “She shouldn’t have done that,” others joined in. “Why that expensive perfume could have been sold for a fortune and the money given to the poor,” they snarled. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why criticize her for doing a good thing? You always have the poor among you, and they badly need your help, and you can help them whenever you want to; but I won’t be here much longer. She has done what she could, and has anointed my body ahead of time for burial.”

The woman in this story is an example for all of us. Jesus paid her a great compliment when he said, “She has done what she could.” We need to ask ourselves if we are doing what we can?

Unfortunately, some of us have inferiority complexes that make us think to ourselves, “I can’t do anything. I can’t teach, preach, witness, or sing.” As a young boy in a church, I sat behind an older man who couldn’t carry a tune, but he didn’t let that stop him. He sang unto the Lord. He made a joyful noise. His singing was a blessing to me and to all who heard him. Can’t sing? Then make a joyful noise.
Some of us don’t give as we should. We think we’re not rich, my little bit won’t make a difference. The woman that Jesus praised wasn’t rich either. The perfume she poured over Jesus’s head was the most valuable thing she owned. True love is like that. It doesn’t count the cost—it is extravagant. She gave what she could. She gave it willingly, and gave it when needed most. What she did was one of the last acts of kindness done for Jesus before his crucifixion, and it was a great blessing to him.
The message here is let’s not think about what we can’t do—let’s do what we can.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

 

 

HOW TO KNOW A CHRISTIAN WHEN YOU SEE ONE

“The fruit of the Spirit is . . .” (Galatians 5:22).

“How can you tell when someone’s a real Christian?” the young boy asked his mother. “Well Son, we can’t go around judging people,” she said, “but we can be fruit inspectors.” She went on to explain how different trees bear different fruit—peach trees produce peaches, apple trees produce applies, and lemon trees produce lemons. If we want to know what kind of tree a tree is, we can find out by looking at the fruit it bears.

The Bible tells us that the same thing is true of people. People who are Christians bear Christian fruit. The fruits are listed in the book of Galatians. Not surprisingly, the first fruit mentioned is love, and it is no accident that it is first. Love is what it is all about. God set the example for us. He loved the world (all of us) so much that he gave his son for us. Jesus loved us so much that he gave his life for us. We are taught that the greatest of all commandments are these two: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” (Matthew 22:37, 39) and “Love your neighbor (anyone and everyone) as yourself.” If we do those two things, everything else will take care of itself.

Real love shows. If we are wondering if someone is a Christian, we need to look at his or her love fruit. While we are at it, let’s take a good look at our own. How are we showing God’s love?

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

GOD’S REQUIREMENTS–PART II

“. . . to love mercy . . .” (Micah 6:8)

The word “mercy” in this verse is translated best as “kindness.” In fact, Moffatt translates the verse as saying “To be just and kind and live in quiet fellowship with God.” It sounds simple and easy, but it is not. It demands our best efforts and God’s help.

Kindness is so rare in our day that we need to define it. To be kind means to be affectionate, loving, sympathetic, helpful, forbearing, gentle, and to give pleasure or relief. At least five things are necessary to meet this requirement.

We must:

·        Be kind to each other, and forgive each other, as Christ forgave us.

·        Show mercy and compassion for each other, and don’t oppress or take advantage of the widows, fatherless, strangers, and poor. We who are strong ought to bear the infirmities of our neighbors. The word stranger applies to immigrants. God’s word tells us that we should treat them as if they were born here, and love them as we love ourselves (Leviticus 19:34).

·        Give to those who ask us, and loan to people.

·        Love our enemies.

·        Rejoice with people that rejoice and cry with those who are crying.

Remember that this instruction is not a helpful hint or a suggestion, but a requirement of Almighty God. Let us ask ourselves how well we are meeting it.

Dr. Robert Wilkerson is a minister, writer, and founder of People for the Christian Way, an organization whose mission is to encourage all people to practice Christian principles in business, politics, and every area of life. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net, http://www.peopleforthechristianway.com

ANSWERING LIFE’S GREATEST QUESTION

“WHAT WILL I DO WITH JESUS (Matthew 27:22)?

 Life is filled with many important questions. As a nation, many of us are asking these questions:  Is the economic crisis over? When will we be able to find work again? When will be bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan? As individuals, many of us are asking do I need to change occupations? Should I go back to school? Will the company I work for survive, providing me employment for as long as I need to work? Will I run out of money before I run out of life?

All these questions are important, but a Roman governor named Pilate asked life’s greatest question many years ago. He asked, “What will I do with Jesus?”

It is life’s greatest question because the way we answer it will determinate the quality of our lives. With Christ, life has peace, happiness, meaning, and purpose. We become members of the family of God, and we can enjoy fellowship with Him and His people. Without Him, life can be very bad.

Not only does the way we answer that question determine our happiness and satisfaction in this life, it determines our destiny for eternity. Jesus Christ is the door to heaven. He is the straight and narrow way. If we reject Him, we have no way. We need to ask ourselves personally, “What have I done with Jesus?”

HOW TO BE LOVED BY JESUS—PART 3—GROW

 

As she looked upon the small bundle in its mother’s arms, the woman asked, “May I see your baby?” She was saddened by what she saw. “How old is it?” she asked. The mother answered sadly, “He’s five years old.”  There was a long silence, then the woman walked away. It is tragic to see a baby who didn’t grow.

 

Also, it is tragic to see Christians who don’t grow. They have been born into the family of God, but they haven’t grown an inch. God wants all of his children to grow up like Christ in everything. Growing in Christ doesn’t just happen. We must make up our minds to grow. Then, we must pray for Christ’s guidance and help.

 

Growing in Christ involves several things. Participation in church is one of them. The church is God’s body on earth. It has many parts, each with its own function. Every Christian has a place in that body. One who doesn’t go to church is like a severed finger, or a hand.

 

Daily Bible reading and prayer, and keeping a journal will help us grow. But the best thing we can do is practice Christianity. Take it out into the streets. Practice the teachings of Christ, love God, love your neighbor, do good to everyone. When he calls us, answer. When he challenges us, take up the challenge. Doers grow much faster than talkers. In this journey remember, “Draw close to God, and he will draw close to you” (James 4:8).