Be of Good Cheer

Charles Schulz once created a Peanuts cartoon in which Snoopy is sitting outside in a snowstorm and he is shivering in the cold.  Linus and Charlie Brown happen by and see Snoopy and his condition.

“Snoopy looks kind of cold, doesn’t he?” asks Charlie Brown.

“I’ll say he does,” responds Linus.  “Maybe we’d better go and comfort him.”

Linus looks down upon shivering Snoopy and says, “Be of good cheer, Snoopy.”

“Yes, be of good cheer,” echoes Charlie Brown.

The last frame of the cartoon shows Linus and Charlie Brown walking away.  Snoopy, still shivering, is left wondering what good was accomplished with their words.

James gives a similar scenario: “Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.  If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15-16 NIV).  Here is James’ application: “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17 NIV).

Love, if it is not accompanied by action, is also dead.  

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:17-18 NIV).

Love is compassion in action.  Love sees a need and seeks to help.

Do you want an example?

Jesus saw our greatest need and went to the cross to meet our need.

Our greatest need is salvation from sin, for sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2) and puts us on the path to eternal destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

But God loves us so much that He gave His one and only Son to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21).  In Christ, “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

God will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men (Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  He will continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word (1 John 1:7-9).

Let’s put our compassion into action.  When we see a person in need, let’s seek to help.  Let’s not just say, “I love you”; let’s demonstrate love.

That’s what Jesus did for us.

How will you respond?

— David A. Sargent

-David A. Sargent, Minister

-Church of Christ at Creekwood