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A Challenge for the Changed - Girlfriends in God - July 26, 2017

  • 2017 Jul 26
  • COMMENTS

July 26, 2017
A Challenge For The Changed
Gwen Smith

Today’s Truth

After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go.  He told them “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest field. (Luke 10:1-2)

Friend to Friend

I had been reading through the book of Luke and freshly looking at how Jesus interacted with people. How he responded to their interruptions. How he reacted to their pain. How he met their spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. Jesus was quite the man of action.

When people encountered Jesus they were changed and challenged, healed and helped. They longed for His presence in each town and looked for His purpose in each teaching.

Jesus fed the hungry, healed the diseased and paralyzed, ate with sinners, cared for the children, and just plain showed compassion in crazy-practical ways. What an amazing picture of love. A perfect picture of love. Perfect love: Jesus.

Perfect love cares.

Perfect love makes time for the interruptions of life.

Perfect love meets the physical needs of others.

Perfect love shows compassion to souls that are darkened by despair. 

You and I are called to this mission as well, because we are commanded to love our neighbor as ourselves.

The translation of the word Christian is "Christ follower." I’m a Christian woman. I trust in Jesus and love Him with all my heart and soul. He has forgiven me of much. Even so, I have to reflect and wonder … how active is my faith? Are those around me surprised by the love I show? Am I a work-horse for Jesus? Am I ministering to my community through service? Am I sharing the hope of Christ with those who are lost or hurting, and am I looking for opportunities to bless others in practical ways?

Those are some seriously challenging questions - because this perfect love thing is totally hard!

The challenge flies in the face of my natural compulsion to be self-absorbed. It contradicts everything that Hollywood would try to sell us as "the IT life." It is political, yet non-partisan. It sears past policies to flesh and blood. It touches and feels. Perfect love is not based on socio-economics, race, religion or denomination.

I’m compelled by these demonstrated actions of Christ and am challenged to become more pro-active in social God-causes. I want to be more of a Christ-follower with my actions ... not just with my words … and not just within the body of Christ. You too?

Several years ago while my heart was swirling in the depth of this, our neighborhood was having one of those blow-out, everybody's-doing-it garage sales. With this new call to action burning in my belly, I rallied my gang (husband, kids and puppy) to set up a water/soda stand to raise some money for a local charity. While that may sound noble and exciting, I assure you, it was a total battle. My precious little suburban kids fought me the whole way to the curb and tested my love-o-meter to the max. Quite frankly, I wanted to fold up my card table, put away the signs that I had painstakingly made of poster board and marker, write a personal check to the charity and call it a day. (They still would've gotten their money and I would've had less stress for a few hours.) But in my frustration, I felt God nudge my heart, reminding me that in order to reach people for Jesus I needed to serve others.

Now, I'm not sure that it would've been sinful-wrong not to proceed with our fund raiser when the grumbles came ... but I am absolutely sure that we would've missed out on some tremendous lessons and blessings that God allowed as a result of our actions.

HERE ARE A FEW OF THE LESSONS:

#1. Our time is a treasure and we are responsible to spend it wisely. (We don't need to be money-rich to give to others or to the LORD.)

#2. When we invest our time in blessing and helping others, God is glorified and the dividends boomerang back to bless us.

#3. Our children learn giving and serving when we lead and model it.

#4. $172 can be raised in a few short hours to help local homeless children by selling water and soda!! {Yeah!}

#5. Comfortable Christian children need to experience life beyond themselves more often!

#6. Comfortable Christian adults need to experience life beyond themselves more often ... so that the world around us can SEE the love of Christ through our ACTIONS.

Let’s ask the Lord of the harvest to open our eyes to daily opportunities that will bring Him glory and bless others.

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, Thank you for demonstrating that perfect love serves. Thank you for reminding me that I am called to be an active harvester for you. Please equip me for the task. Help me to reflect Your perfect love. Help me to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment by meeting both the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of hurting people in my community and around the world.

In Jesus’ Name I pray,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Consider what you are currently doing to serve God. Does your service extend beyond the body of Christ to the un-churched, unhealthy and underprivileged in your community?

Take a moment to pray and seek God’s leading as you consider new ways to show His love. Plan something! Here are a few suggestions… 

CALL the local retirement community to seek how you can help out.

CHECK with a homeless shelter and inquire about their needs.

VOLUNTEER for your local Food Pantry.

BABYSIT for a single mom at your church.

CARE FOR a widow… adopt an orphan - or even a college student!

SPONSOR a child through Compassion International to connect a child living in poverty with medical check-ups, nutritious food, health and hygiene training, educational assistance, mentoring, and an opportunity for your sponsored child to hear about Jesus Christ an be encouraged to develop a lifelong relationship with God.

Got a great idea? I’d love to hear about it. Click here to share your thoughts on the wall of my blog.

More from the Girlfriends

FREE EBOOK:Gwen Smith is a speaker, worship leader, songwriter, and author of the book, I Want I ALL, which includes a Bible Study Guide right in the back of the book; no extra purchase required. I WANT IT ALL is easy to read yet contains compelling and challenging content. You'll connect with the stories, probably dust off a few heart dreams, think bigger thoughts of God, laugh and smile a lot, search your soul, and even cry a little ... because each page lovingly directs you to the personal grace and truth of JESUS.

(CLICK HERE to get a FREE Downloadable “7 Day I WANT IT ALL” Devotional Ebook.)

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