The Lord began His ministry by proclaiming a standard I believe is suitable for us all. Note his words as recorded in Luke 4:18-19 RSV:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year the Lord.”
Christ came to all men and women, but His message of redemption found particular appeal on the part of those disenfranchised, without hope, under the heel of unrighteous oppressors. We dare not neglect those who are abandoned by their fellow humans. For the Christian there is no caste, no race, no sex discrimination. We must minister to all people.
While driving to a speaking engagement, I questioned a companion about her job as a state social worker. Her particular function was to find placements for foster children. Did she feel a sense of fulfillment despite the frustrations, I wondered? “Yes,” she replied. “Particularly in cases like Timmy M.”
It seems as though Timmy had spent the major portion of his eight-year-old life chained by his grandmother to a radiator in his room. Food was brought to him and he was allowed to defecate and urinate on newspapers. There were other children in his family who were not treated similarly. For some warped reason Timmy had been singled out.
When Timmy’s condition finally reached the attention of officials, it fell to my friend Mary to find a home for him. Would you be able to share your home with a child who had existed like an animal most of his life? Someone could. A pastor with 11 children—some natural, some adopted, some under foster care—amazingly found room in his heart for this oppressed boy.
“Do you know,” marveled my friend as we continued to travel. “We are discovering that Timmy has a gifted IQ. The only fortunate thing about his story is that, although confined, he could see and hear the television set, which was on constantly.”
Karen Mains has long had an interest in Christian hospitality and is the author of the best-selling book, Open Heart, Open Home.
An award-winning author of several other books, Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
For decades, Karen Mains and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and churches at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
In addition, pastors will find special resources to help them create effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.