Monday, January 31

Manna Monday- A Simple Thing called Love

It's a simple thing.
It's free to give- if we will give it to others. That's the question. Are we loving others like we really should.
Most of us give what we feel like on a daily basis and then we justify our love to others saying "it's all I can do today." But that's not how Jesus loved others. He didn't give what he felt like on a daily basis. He gave all he had to give each day. He gave all he had on the cross- ALL of it so we could have the capacity to love like He loves.

The older I get, the more I appreciate the love of others, but even more, I find myself contemplative about the love I give to others. I want to give more love to those around me- not just the leftovers.

It's a sacrifice.
I have to be intentional about it.
I have to think about it and make it something that's not an afterthought.

I don't want my selfishness to get the best of me and say, "I need more, or I need this." I get in the way of love. Our selfishness is the obstacle we have to overcome in giving love to others. That's why I believe God made it a fruit of the spirit- because we can't do it on our own. God's love is patient (our love can be impatient) and kind (our love can be pretty rude). It's not boastful either (loving others isn't placing ourselves in the conversation all the time.. it's stepping back and letting the conversation be about that person- it's listening to them and not having a comeback all the time.) I could go on but you get the picture of how our love falls short compared to God's love.

I cannot begin to express the love I have for my church, my fellow church members and those members who are now in heaven with Jesus. It is a love that goes beyond any reason. I have no earthly blood connection to them, yet I feel like they are family. We don't get together on holidays but I always wish we could. My church family is so special to me. I believe I can love others also the way I do today because of the earthly example of the older people in my church loving on me as a child. I can still feel their hugs to this very day- 30 years later. That was not their love but the love of Jesus inside their heart poured out to me.

I can love my fellow church members better.
How can I do that? How can you do that?

By taking more time with them, calling and checking on them more frequently. By seeking ways to spend more time with them outside of the church walls. By praying for them and last, by telling them how much they mean to you face to face- in a card or letter. Getting to learn their lives like you and I know the lives of our earthly family. We all can do this better. But we have to be intentional about it.

Do we love like crazy those people God places in our paths like we should? Do we?

Dear friends, let us not try to give love to others out of our own strength.
Let's surrender ourselves to Christ and let HIS love take over and do a mighty work we could never do on our own.

Tell someone you love them in the LORD today. Write them a card or letter. Take them to lunch and pay for their way just to tell them how much you love them. Call and ask if you can pray for someone who has been going through a difficult time.

Love-It truly is a simple thing.

"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.  Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord."   Romans 12:9-11
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