I’m making dinner for a friend who’s on bed rest today. I’ll be the first to say I’m not the greatest cook…I can follow a recipe, for instance if it says 1 tbsp, I get the measuring spoon, put whatever in it and scrape the top just to be sure. I don’t “eyeball” anything! I don’t necessarily like cooking, it stresses me out a bit, but I do enjoy cooking for friends.
Sunday’s “Beautiful Truth” was from 1st John. In the passage John writes, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.”
We can all understand the difference between words and actions. Your spouse can tell you he loves you everyday, which is both wonderful and necessary, but when he comes home with flowers “just because” or when she rubs you back without you asking, that actions speaks volumes of love.
That actions says I was thinking about you. I want you to know I love you. I know how hard you work and I appreciate you.
It is so important to show love in this way to our spouses and to our children. But, is is also important to show that same love to our neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc. To show love that is compassionate and encouraging.
In all honesty, only in the last few years have I become one who loves like Christ.
For so long believers have been welcoming unbelievers or “sinners” on Sundays, but during the week our doors were closed. We led our lives and they led theirs.
We are great at hosting bible studies at our homes and times of fellowship for believers, people who were like us, but when unbelievers knock we step back.
We don’t want to be tempted or tainted or even troubled.
“I’ll embrace believers, but you sinners need Jesus!”
How foolish. How fake.
But…I believe believers are beginning to change their views. The old way wasn’t working. The church has been stagnant for far too long. Believers are seeing that instead of shutting out, we must do all we can to bring others in.
How? With love like Christs’.
Love that is compassionate, not judgemental.
Love that is encouraging, not telling.
Love that is forgiving, not proud.
In the past few years I have learned what real, brotherly love looks like. I know what real love actions are now.
When we had our son, we had been attending our church for only about 4 months. In those four months we began attending a small group and became as involved as we could be with a baby on the way. We had just become members and really only knew a handful of people. When we had little one our small group, which at the time was about 7 people said they would provide us dinner.
Great! We thought “that will be nice. We’ll get a few casseroles. Perfect.”
We didn’t get any casseroles!
Amazing. Awestruck. Blessed.
Not only did our small group bring us food, but people who we had never met brought us meals for two weeks.
Meals…as in homemade BBQ chicken with biscuits, corn and potatoes. Salas with bottles of dressing. Appetizers, full desserts every night, even muffins for breakfast!
We did not go hungry!
Overflowing – That is Love.
There was a need and it was met. No concern for their own lives. No need to know who we were. I’m still blessed to this day by the love. Because the truth is, I wasn’t like that. Before, if anyone had blessed me like that, I probably would have thought, “what are they after?” Or pride would get in the way of the blessing with thoughts of, “I can take care of myself.”
I could tell you stories of how loved we felt those first few months. Not only was God taking care of us, but He was taking care of us through people we barely knew and who now we have the privilege of calling friends, actually, brothers and sisters.
When my husbands grandmother broke her hip, we called our friends to let them know and ask for prayer and they immediately responded with, “What can we do?”
We were foolish to say, “Just pray,” because their response was, “NO. We are already doing that, what can we specifically do for your family.”
Christ didn’t pray, he moved. That’s love.
I can go on and on. But overall, now when someone needs something I say,”What can I do,” and I mean it. I don’t “just pray.”
I’ve learned to take action. Love with action, not just words.
If you see a neighbor with a newborn, take a meal.
If a co-worker is sick – take them ice cream or a good movie.
If a family member is struggling, take them to dinner or to get pedicures.
How much more of a ministry are you going to have with your neighbors, family and friends if you love first and then invite them to church.
This is what the world is hungry and searching for.
I encourage you to love as Christ loves. Find a body of believers who love like Christ, or better yet, become a body of believers who love like Christ.
Become one who sees a need and meets it.
Jesus did it.