Recently, I discovered that Levi Coffin, from the Coffin family line in the 1800s, was called the President of the Underground Railroad. During the time when there were African slaves in the USA, he opened up his home to thousands of fugitive slaves escaping abusive treatment from their masters in the South. He fed them, clothed them, let them rest at his house and helped them move on to Canada to be free. He was a follower of Jesus who did what was right even when the law opposed him. Here are some of his quotes and Scriptures that go with what he believed.
“The dictates of humanity came in opposition to the law of the land, and we ignored the law.” “I thought it was always safe to do right. The Bible, in bidding us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, said nothing about color, and I should try to follow out the teachings of that good book.” (Levi Coffin)
Matthew 25: 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
- What do we learn about God in this passage?
- What do we learn about people?
- What should we obey?
- Who can I share this with?
“Did the Good Samaritan stop to inquire whether the man who fell among thieves was guilty of any crime before he attempted to help him?” (Levi Coffin)
Luke 10:36“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
“I read in the Bible when I was a boy that it was right to take in the stranger and administer to those in distress and that I thought it was always safe to do right. The Bible, in bidding us to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, said nothing about color, and I should try to follow out the teachings of that good book.” (Levi Coffin)
Hebrews 13:2 “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Let us be encouraged to do deeds of kindness in our everyday lives as we see needs around us.
I’m sure our kids have stories to tell of times when we took people into our home as they were growing up. We want to make serving the poor part of our normal lives as believers.
There is always more we can do as we follow Jesus!
Let’s listen to the Holy Spirit everyday and do what He tells us to do without fear.