DEAR REV. GRAHAM: A friend of mine admits she isn’t a Christian but claims she feels God’s presence when she does something good for other people. I’m not sure what she means by this, but I admire her for her concern for others.
DEAR J.J.: Yes, your friend’s concern for others is admirable, and we should be thankful for anyone who seeks to help those in need. God in His grace can use even people who don’t believe in Him to bring comfort and healing to our hurting world.
I’m not sure, either, what your friend means when she says she feels God’s presence when she helps someone; you might ask her if you have an opportunity. Perhaps doing something good for someone makes her feel good inside, and she believes those feelings must be from God. Or perhaps she’s had people express their gratitude to her by saying that God must have sent her to them, and that makes her feel God must be with her.
But our emotions can mislead us; they can even deceive us into thinking God is with us when He actually isn’t. True faith isn’t just a warm feeling. True faith is focused on God, and on His Son, Jesus Christ. Warm feelings won’t save us, nor will they cleanse us of our sins - which is our greatest need. Only Christ can do that - and He will, as we open our hearts and lives to Him and trust Him as our Savior and Lord.
Pray for your friend, that she will see her need to repent of her sins and turn her life over to Jesus Christ. Then she’ll want to help others not just because of the good feelings she gets, but out of Christ’s love. The Bible says, “This is love for God: to keep his commands” (1 John 5:3).
Write to Billy Graham in care of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C. 28201 or visit the website at billygraham.org
Food, Pages 32 on 03/12/2014
Print Headline: ON CHRISTIANITY