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Target….

January 21, 2014

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Not that Target. You know the one with the clever ads and security breach. Ya, not that one at all. No, I’m referring to the one that comes with loving people. That will make you a target. Just so you know. Please don’t let that discourage you. Wear it like a badge of honor.

A target for every needy person in the area. Years ago when I began ministry one of the Pastor’s in the community I was called to shared with me a story of giving that I will never forget. He told me about hobo marks. They take their name from the great depression when hobos traveled the rails across our country. They would leave marks in towns and on homes to let the hobos know of friendly places. A home where you could get a warm meal or a church that was giving. Targets. He told me of his modern day experience with such people. How when he first started ministering he helped a man one day only to find a steady stream of travelers for weeks to come. He wondered how they could be finding his building since it was so far off the beaten path. He headed out to try and figure out the phenomena and discovered a line of markings from the main road all the way to his door. A kind of homing device so that they could hit their target and I had just served him breakfast earlier in the day.

So I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised today when I heard a knock at my front door. You see I had just jumped in for a minute after spending an hour tutoring at the alternate high school just down from our home. I knew the young man because he spends time at the Abraham Connection Shelter.

He told me he was in need of medicine. That he didn’t have the money and would I mind giving him the small amount necessary. Well I told him I would love to pay for his medicine. It would be an honor. I just needed to know which pharmacy had them. He explained that it was City Market. I told him great, let me grab a piece of paper so I make sure I have his name and information so that when I get there I can pay for his prescription.quote_pharmacy

You already know where this is going. He hesitated. He needed the medicine quick. I assured him that I could get to the pharmacy long before he could. I would leave immediately. I guess he didn’t need the medicine because then all he really needed was a loan.

Just because I’m a target doesn’t make me a fool. Please don’t be a fool. Too much is done in the name of Jesus that isn’t for Jesus at all. It is to make the person feel better about themselves. Too many handouts are harmful.

Can I tell you the truth? I went around the house before I left to make sure everything was locked. That the garage was secure and no valuables were out in plain site.

Jesus often times removed himself from places where people only wanted their physical needs met. In Matthew 8:18 scripture records that Jesus withdrew when he saw the crowed coming for healing. It is also shows in Mark 7:24-26 that Jesus actually tried to keep his location a secret because he was a target for those longing to be healed.

I believe we need to be loving people but we must also be careful because we will become a target. We need to seek wisdom when offering a hand. Never do it to make yourself feel better, it is to bring God glory and to show our neighbor love. Remember, loving your neighbor means loving them enough to tell them no. Don’t let being a target or the possibility of becoming one keep you from loving others, Jesus didn’t. In Mark 7:27-29 even though Jesus tries to hide he still shows love to the woman who begged him to cast out an evil spirit. Go and do likewise ;)….

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