We’ve all heard the popular saying, “actions speak louder than words” and while it can be true in some aspects of life, we will be proven very wrong when hearing what Wayne Chen had to say during CROSS Con 2020. After reviewing my notes from this lesson, I realized that last week’s post more or less set the scene for this week because a good chunk of the content presented is similar. That being said, I will try to keep this post short and hopefully avoid boring you with redundancy.
This week, one of the things Wayne Chen emphasizes in his lesson is that “showing God’s love through our actions is not enough….we have to proclaim His love and what He did on the cross.” Sound familiar? This subject is imperative and worth repeating to ensure the point is made though, so let me share just one more quote that Chen presented regarding the urgency of this matter. “The most compassionate and Christlike thing to do is to prize the peoples’ spiritual needs over their physical needs. The most hateful thing we could do is to provide for their physical needs without providing the gospel.” What can we say to that? I don’t know about you, but the blunt honesty of that statement left me completely speechless. If that doesn’t convict us of this world’s desperate need for the gospel, what will?
The title of Chen’s lesson is yet another line from the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6: “ Forgive Us Our Debts." However, he did not fail to leave out the preceding line, "Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread," which is, after all, the basis for the next half of this week's blog content. So how is this line relevant to what was just discussed? Here is a conclusion I came up with based on the first part of this petition.
Our daily bread is both physical and spiritual. Chen noted that when we bring the petition, “give us this day our daily bread” (v. 11) before the Lord, we’re asking for more than just our physical needs to be met. We’re also asking Him to give us the grace to trust in His provision for the next day. I would even take this a step further by referencing one of my new favorite scriptures. “So he humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.” (emphasis mine) Our daily bread is not just physical food. It’s the very word of God given to us in the scriptures which feeds our souls. There are thousands of unreached peoples across the globe who are spiritually starving and if we only attempt to meet their physical needs, we are doing more harm than good because they will end up starving for eternity.
To conclude this blog post, here are two things that we as Christ’s followers must put at the top of our priority list. 1. We must trust in His provision for us each day, both for our physical needs and for the grace we so desperately need in order to fulfill the Great Commission as effectively as possible. 2. We must see to it that the spiritual needs of those we minister to are met first and foremost. Yes, the physical needs are important in life on earth, but an eternal life free of suffering requires the fulfillment of one’s spiritual needs through the good news of salvation in Christ Jesus, the Bread of Life (see John 6:35).
For your pleasure, click here to watch the entirety of Chen’s sermon.