One World One Hope
The Army’s self-denial program–how to do it
HAND TO MAN
When jesus came to earth, he saw the needs of the people; and what did he do? He reached out his hands to heal, feed, love and touch people, and those very hands held him to the cross.
Just as Jesus used his hands to meet the needs of the people he encountered, we as individuals within The Salvation Army use our hands to assist thousands of people in disasters, feeding programs, social services and spiritual ministry.
This year in our own self-denial giving, let’s make it personal. We are the work of God’s own hand. So look at your hands. Do you like what you see? What are you doing to use your hands to make a difference in the world today?
And if he needs your hands changed, he will probably start with your heart.
HEART AND LIFE
When your heart is transformed by God’s grace, your life is open to all of his riches. You see the world—and all of its needs—in a much different light. You begin to see the world as Jesus did. Your life changes and your heart beats with the love of God for his children.
Suddenly self-denial giving becomes much more personal. It also becomes more sacrificial, giving because you are willingly giving a part of your life and heart, whether that be your time, talent or treasure.
• Open your heart to include others who need to know Jesus.
• Open your life to share the love of God through corps programs and outreach
• Open your eyes to see the needs of your world and the 120 countries The Salvation Army is currently serving.
• Open your ears and listen to what God is saying to you.
In our self denial journey we have looked at our hands, our lives and hearts, so now the next step is making it personal through your participation in prayer, praise and provision.
PARTICIPATE THROUGH PRAYER,
AS CHRISTIANS, we desire to become the person God designed us to be. We want to experience the power of the Lord in our lives to accomplish the “impossible.” We can do this through prayer, praise and provision.
By giving of ourselves, our prayer life can develop a new intimacy with God. Praising God through grateful living, graceful living and intentional worship enhances our commitment to God. Sharing our physical blessing with others in need makes us God’s partner in providing for others.
Through our self-denial in 2009, the Western Territory gave $6.5 million to help provision for the world. This gift provided what we take for granted: water, food, shelter, medical assistance, educational opportunities, adequate facilities and even sanitation. Necessities to us, but they are luxuries for others.
We praise God for what we have and pray God’s provision for those in need.
God wants us to be a voice in the dark world that truly reflects the love of God for all to see. Our challenge is to participate and make it personal.
ENGAGE IN ACTIVE KINGDOM GROWTH
THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS to our Lord’s command for we are witnesses of the grace of Jesus Christ. The work of a missionary can be at home or on a foreign field. Our self-denial provides the opportunity for others and, yes, YOU to take the gospel to the entire world!
The Salvation Army is committed to world evangelism and our mission must never be put on the back burner. The past few weeks we have watched in horror the devastation in Haiti. Yet we have rejoiced as Salvationists have responded to this disaster. We have sent personnel, food, water, clothing and medical assistance to help alleviate the suffering. We have taken every opportunity to share God’s love for each individual. Listed below is a brief summary of our aid as of Jan. 22, 2010.
• More than 700 officers and staff permanently stationed in Haiti are responding to the needs of the people there.
• Thousands of people have made their home in a large soccer field behind the main Salvation Army compound at Delmas 2 in Port-au-Prince and emergency teams are concentrating efforts assisting these people.
• A 14-person team of doctors, nurses and other medical specialists from the United States, Canada, U.K. and other countries are treating hundreds of people per day in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere. These medical teams have delivered several babies at the main compound and have also been dispatched to various orphanages in the area to assist children and infants who have had little help since the earthquake struck.
Just as we have given to the work in Haiti, take time to examine and renew your personal commitment to a lifestyle of self-denial. Each of us can be actively engaged in helping change lives and bring the world to Jesus.