Our Motivation and Calling
- To Show God’s Love Toward Others.
- James 1:27, "This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
- Filling the Void; Love; Compassion; Kindness; Fellowship; Worship
If the above is all you had time to read about our starting motivation, you are at the right beginning point to understand what we want to do; however, the above one sentence, one verse and one list is not the totality of our motivation and calling. The following more fully articulates our motivation and calling.
Conviction to put Scripture in practice and eager for good deeds.
One thing we see lacking in the culture that we have grown up in, is putting in practice what we learn from Scripture. We are convicted to obey Scripture, with some of the following verses pointing us to do this very thing:
- James 1:22-25 (NASB), “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.”
- Titus 2:14-15 (NLT), “He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds. You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them. You have the authority to correct them when necessary, so don’t let anyone disregard what you say.”
- Ephesians 2:10 (NASB), “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
- Titus 3:8 (NIV), “This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.”
- 1 Peter 3:8-16 (NLT), “Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters. Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it. For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.” Now who will want to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.”
To Show God's Love Toward Others.
We that started AVOWED grew up in a culture that has had a heavy emphasis on intellectual pursuit, information, knowledge and analysis – not showing love. Even as it comes to theological matters and what it is to be a Christian. Many churches maximize teaching, rituals and fun fellowship, but minimize the practice of love. Many of the preachers on TV and radio, by the very nature of that venue, is information based rather than a practice of Christianity. They may teach “love”, kindness, compassion, etc., but do they actually do so and are they equipping Christians to do so? We have not seen that as we would like. In addition, many of the “charities” of today are information centered rather than “charitable”. It seems that the whole world of “charities” has a new meaning through the lens of tax law, as people are quick to think in terms of giving to an Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) organization, but not as meticulous to think about which charities are actually doing good works. Are “charities” forgetting to put love in practice? We think so. We are not perfect, but we strive to put love in action - not just in thought and word.
1 Corinthians 13 (NLT) speaks of love better than we can:
"If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love."
Filling the Void
There are many voids we see that need to be filled and it has been convicting to no longer stand on the side line and just hope or complain that someone else should get involved. Many charities seem to us to be more focused on talking a good game without entering the fray. We are entering the fray to help fill more than one void. We are convicted in part, to actively visit the lonely and forgotten, ministering to their emotional and spiritual needs. We have witnessed many individuals in various care centers either that do not have family, or that have family, but for various reasons they are not able to have an active role in the institutional life of that family member. Most are in distress to varying degrees. It is the loss of family. The loss of freedom to come and go as they please. It is the loss of physical ability for some, such as that which comes with a stroke, loss of eyesight, loss of limbs or mobility, loss of dexterity, loss of mental acuity, and perhaps the greatest loss that of identity and purpose. We desire to help bear the burdens and walk along side these that live in distress and just need someone. We are glad to call them friends and our adopted family.
Specific Scripture and Ideas Key to Our Motivation
- “Show respect to the elderly, and honor older people. In this way you show respect for your God. I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:32, God’s Word Translation)
- “A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.” (Abraham J. Heschel)
- “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12, NASB)
- “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15, NASB)
- “What is desirable in a man is his kindness”… (Proverbs 19:22a, NASB)
- “Encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all” (1 Thess. 5:14b. ESV)
- "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:2, NIV)
- "Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven." (Psalm 148:12-13, KJV)
- "This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." (James 1:27, NASB)