taking the words of Jesus seriously

Every day I receive letters from individuals all around the world. Some of these letters speak of an individuals work for the kingdom while others highlight different missionary work. The majority of the letters I receive though are from individuals who are having a rough time. People who are lonely, confused, tired, and worn down from life’s demands and do not know where to go next. Individuals who are asking: where is Christ in all this?

Take for instance a letter I recently received from a young lady, lets say her name is “Jill.” Jill began her letter in a straight forward manner, “I am lonely and no one is coming to sit with me. What is it about today’s church that’s eager to give you an answer rather than simply be there for you?”

In Jill’s case, and in many of our situations, we bring our needs to the church only to have them met with a theological or “church-like” response, “I’ll pray for you” or “Rely solely on Christ, He will get you through this.” When someone is lonely they don’t need a church-friendly response, instead they need you, the Church, to go and be with them. Rather then telling individuals to rely solely on Christ, why don’t we go in the name of Christ and represent Him to people in their time of need?

Consider the words of Christ in Matthew 5:14-15: “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” With Christ’s light as a part of our transformed being we are called to be that light to those who are searching for Christ’s love. Rather than empty “church like” sayings that we can spit out on a moments notice,  may we intentially seek to live out a life that brings forth encouragement and Spiritual support to our brothers and sisters. May we seek to know our brothers and sisters and walk with them through all of life’s trials. This is what the Lord requires of us and this is what we must do!

I ask that as you read this you think of those in your life who need more than a saying but need an individual. An individual they can suffer with and rejoice with, a person to walk beside and a person that will carry them when they feel they can no longer continue onward. My charge to you is won’t you BE the Love of Christ to that person?!  Won’t you get involved in the lives of those around you? Won’t you work for the promotion of the Kingdom wherever you are, whether it be in a Church or in a community gardens or housing program I insist that you get involved for the work of the God’s Kingdom here on earth!

About The Author


Tony Campolo is Professor of Sociology at Eastern University, and was formerly on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania. For 40 years, he founded and led the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education, an organization that created and supported programs serving needy communities in the Third World as well as in “at risk” neighborhoods across North America. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. He blogs regularly at his own website. Tony and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia, and have two children and four grandchildren.

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