Love In Action

romans121913

Continuing on with our theme of “Godly Relationships” here at MOHL, I wanted to write a little bit on some of the practical ways we can show love to others.

Romans 12:9-13 reads as follows:

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Wow… there are a lot of things written to us as believers just in that short passage.

Something I really want to point out from those scriptures is that a lot of those commands relate directly to the attitude in our hearts. It says that we ought to:

1. Honor others before yourself. This could mean a few different things, but I think mainly, it is really seeking to put the needs or wants of others above your own. Do you know of someone who is struggling with finances and they have no way to keep warm? Give them a coat to wear. Do you know of someone who is hungry? Bring them some food! Even giving a bright and cheery smile to the cashier in the store who has had a long day can bring some sunshine into their lives. You might be the only bit of happiness and joy that enters their life that day. You never know how God can use even the smallest things to encourage others. This goes into point #2.

2. Never be lacking in zeal and spiritual fervor for the Lord. As we continue on the paths the Lord has placed in our lives, He will lead us through the valley and the desert both. Sometimes, it feels like we have never been closer to the Lord, and everything is “going our way”. We’re in the valley…joy-filled, at peace, and excitedly going down the path of the Lord’s will. Then, He may choose to bring us through a dry, desert time. It seems as if everything is a struggle, like the Lord is far away and doesn’t hear our desperate pleas of asking for peace from the conflict, whatever it might be. Having walked through a time like this recently, I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing it was to have dear sisters constantly sending me scripture verses and praying for me. Do you know someone who is struggling in their spiritual life? The Lord may be calling you to be a witness to them as they walk through this time in the desert. Diligently seek to pray for them, look for little ways you can encourage them. Perhaps a note in the mail or some favorite scriptures written out on notecards and given to them will help them on their journey.

3. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. This part speaks for itself in many ways. Be joyful in hope… We have a great hope in the knowledge that one day, the Lord will return to take us home to be with Him for all eternity. We have a great hope because He chose, in His divine providence, to take on the weight of our sins and wash them clean. He took the punishment, that we rightly deserve, that we might be white as snow, and have this great hope! What a mighty, faithful and loving God we serve.  Patient in affliction… Our pastor was just teaching this past Sunday about how trials are brought into our lives for our good. We often do the most growing as we learn to further rely on the Lord, and less on our own efforts. When we are completely broken, we realize just how small we are, and just how mighty our Lord is. We may not understand in this life why He sent specific trials into our lives, but we can rest once again in the greater Hope- that the Lord works together all things for the good of those who are His own according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) Faithful in prayer… once again, this part speaks for itself, but in many ways, how often are we guilty of telling someone that we will pray for them and then forgetting or never getting around to doing so? *raises hand* One way that we can really seek to show love to others is remembering to be faithful in praying for them, or over specific requests they may have shared with us. For myself, I’ve found that keeping a prayer request journal is a great way to specifically list out folks or requests that I am praying for during that time. It’s also neat to look back through and see exactly how God answered those prayers!

4. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Building somewhat on #1, sharing with fellow believers who are in need is one of the greatest ways that we can show love to others. One specific way my church tries to do this is by taking meals to families who have recently had a baby, lost a family member, are sick, etc. Having been on both ends of this, I can say that it is a blessing to both parties. Taking a meal to someone is a way of acknowledging to them that you know they are struggling with something at the time, and it is a very practical way of showing love to them. It truly blesses you knowing that you are lending them a helping hand in their time of need. When my family has been on the receiving end, it is so nice to not have to worry about cooking on top of everything else going on at the time, no matter what the circumstance is. There are obviously several other ways to help folks in need…I just used food as an example because here in the South, food is a big deal. :) As far as showing hospitality, the definition of hospitality means: “The friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers.” What better way to show hospitality to believers and non-believers alike than to host them in your home? Whether just for a meal or for an extended stay, oftentimes, one of the best ways we can be a witness to others is to have them in our homes, so that they can see the way we live, and Lord willing, to see the love of Christ in us and through us.

What are some different ways you can show “love in action” to others around you?

 

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A Week Of Kindness

By Rose H.

When I saw this challenge I got excited. I love showing other people that someone cares. To put a smile on someone’s face. To give them a reason to  be happy.

Lately I feel like my life has gotten so crazy that I haven’t made as much of an effort to show kindness to others as I would like. This challenge helped to focus my attention on serving others. Here’s what happened.

Day 1

I set out with great intentions. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but I thought I would find out.

I spent the day out with a friend and soon went to have lunch under the golden arches. We ordered and I swiped my card paying for both of our meals.

The smile on her face was so sweet. If this is any indication, this project is going to be fun.

Day 2

A busy day of volunteering. One of those that you are so exhausted at the end of, but I had a smile of my face. I knew that I had been able to love and serve some people.

As I was leaving to go home, I stopped by the volunteer directors’ office. I knew that she would be gone, but I wanted to leave her something. You see, I had found out that was engaged. I was so excited for her so I decided to get her a little something.

I had so much fun choosing a gift and leaving it for her to find.

Day 3

Not much to talk about today. I had a lot of work to do.

But I took a moment and walked into my sisters room with a candy basket in my hand. I offered my sisters to take whatever they wanted. That was fun.

Day 4

Today my family was at the food pantry. We were working away when I saw someone signing. Being an excitable ASL student, I jumped in and began to sign to this woman. Soon people started asking me to interpret. I was so thrilled to be bridging a communication gap. Because of that we were able to give her a ride home and show some people how they could meet a need.

Later I got to bless someone else. This lady has been struggling with hurt and discouragement. I felt that God had laid it on my heart to do something for her. So I made a shawl and gave it to her. The joy in her voice was worth all the work.

Day 5

Today we were celebrating birthdays.

I made a cake and some cards. Not much, but I enjoyed it.

Day 6

Can you tell I’m starting to get a little creative toward the end of this challenge? As the week went on I just started taking advantage of whatever opportunities came along.

I called up a friend to let them know that I love her.

I cleaned the room for my sister.

Day 7

Another day of volunteering.

It was pretty slow today.

But I found that as I made myself available to different nurses and techs, I was able to help in ways I had never thought of before.

That’s what I came away with from this challenge. By simply going out of my way to bless and encourage others, I found my life enriched.

What’s something (even if it seems small) that you can do right now to bless someone? Get to it! Do it! Live it!   

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