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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Hallelujah, He is Risen!

He is risen! He is risen indeed.

A blessed Resurrection day to you & yours!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. When Jesus gave up His last breath on Calvary, the veil of separation was torn in two & we are now gifted with the priceless gift of unadulterated communion with the Lord. When Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to give His disciples & followers power to carry out the great commission. I’m here to share with you, sisters, that that same Pentecostal power they were given in tongues of fire is ours.

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2nd Peter 1:1-15

What does this look like in the day to day? Certainly appears to be a tall order. *smile* It’s so much more than an inspirational encouragement but the calling on all of our lives, in every season. In every moment. Through every trial, triumph, joy & even times of despair. We are new creations. We weren’t once new creations, nor are we trying to attain a brand new identity. We have been cleansed from our sins forever & the Lord casts them as far as the east is from the west. It’s a perpetual, & ongoing renewing, adding all these things to the next in the Scripture above.

These verses are God-inspired, & are a call to rise as He is risen this day. We are vessels made to declare His rule & reign over history, the present & our individual stories. On this blessed Easter morning, I encourage you to breathe deep & let it out. Bask in the Lord’s resurrection power & then, after you pray for these fruits to be cultivated in your day to day, you prepare. Prepare your heart to be tested with gifts disguised as trying people, situations or trials. When I pray for patience, the Lord sends me another short-tempered person or difficult personality or another waiting game to test that prayer.

The Lord does not call the already-equipped; He doesn’t bestow upon us the gifts of His grace & the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts like pixie dust. The Lord equips the called; day by day even in the mundane, we-His daughters & part of His beloved Bride-are refined as gold.

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Another New Year

Another New Year | Meditations of His Love

It’s January again.

Seems like just yesterday, I was writing a post identical to this one.

Every New Year I do the same thing. {original, aren’t I?}

I open the 20__ folders, diary, calendar, think through all the things that might happen in the new year, make plans, set goals.

And now 2013 is over.

Time to do it all again for 2014.

As I look over the goals I wrote down a year ago, one in particular stands out to me: “Grow closer to God and become more like Him.”

Of course, if I were to flip through the pages of my New Year’s Notebook, I would see the same goal jotted down each New Year’s since I was 15.

 

So I think through everything that happened in 2013.

 

All the times God challenged me to take a step of faith.

All the times He answered prayer….whether it was what I expected or not.

All the times He sent me a little blessing that I wasn’t expecting.

All the times I failed him and He forgave me.

All the little lessons He taught me using ‘mundane’ things.

All the times I had a glimpse of His glory and power even in this sin-filled world.

 

And I realize that though I might feel that I failed Him over and over again,

He still used me, still cared for me, still taught me,

and still drew me nearer Himself.

I wouldn’t change a moment of it.

 

Maybe this year didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.

But in it I learned more about my Lord,

and slowly but surely I’m becoming more like Him.

 

Now I face a new year.

New challenges, new lessons, new experiences.

God will stretch me, test me, grow me.

And I look forward to what this year holds.

 

Yes, I wrote most of these words a year ago.

Yes, I could have written something different-something witty and original.

But then why should I?

This year, I’ll have the same goal I have every year.

 

Because each year that goes by, I want to reflect Christ more.

 

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it, with thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7 NKJV

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