I know the dawn of the New Year is a couple of weeks behind us, but I’m still thinking about one of my resolutions for 2009: to better love and serve my neighbor.
As I read the Bible cover to cover last year (fulfilling my resolution for 2008) I realized that, more than anything else, God speaks about pursuing justice, showing mercy and compassion, loving our neighbors, and walking with Him in humility and reverence.
Like most Christians, over the years I’ve been on several mission trips and served dinner at a local homeless shelter. I’m an advocate for Compassion International, encouraging people to sponsor children in developing countries to help them rise about their impoverished situations and realize their full potential, physically and spiritually.
But as I read the Bible, I realized that God isn’t looking for Christians who serve only when asked or when others are looking.

God wants us to be involved daily in the lives of our neighbors, to treat every person we meet as the precious creation of God that they are, and to go out of our way to show the love of Christ in simple and practical ways. I believe our service is an act of worship to God.
So in 2009, I make this pledge: I will pursue justice, show mercy and compassion, and walk humbly with my God, loving my neighbor the way that I would like to be loved.
That means I’ll continue to drive my neighbor to his doctor’s appointments. I’ll keep writing to soldiers in Afghanistan or Iraq through www.AnySoldier.com and advocate for children through Compassion. I’ll let someone with more items go ahead of me in line at the store. I’ll get involved more regularly in a local ministry or maybe go on another mission trip later this year. I will speak up for those who have no voice and will no longer walk by someone in need. I will upset my own schedule to help someone else.
Pursue justice. Show mercy and compassion. Love my neighbors. That is my pledge and my declaration of service.

If you’d like to read more about my mission trip experiences, you can visit my Mission for Chickens blog. And watch this Gospel Soundcheck blog throughout the year, as I showcase more Christian music artists involved in social justice. I’ve included links below to some of my recent posts.
Rockers Mae are embarking on a year of charity, and you can help
Ten Shekel Shirt’s Lamont Hiebert talks about art and social actionThe Ugandan Water Project album raises money for clean water project
Christian music artists release CompassionArt: Creating Freedom From Poverty
Hawk Nelson encourages fans to be “One Little Miracle”
More posts about Christian music artists involved in social justice
Visit Beliefnet’s Christian music blog, Gospel Soundcheck, daily for the latest news on your favorite Christian music artists as well as mainstream artists with ties to Christian music.
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