June 19, 2007

Perfect Love

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've been reading through the book of Luke, and taking a fresh look 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. He was quite the man of action. When people encountered this God-man named 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. What a perfect picture of love. Perfect love. We have a perfect model of love in 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. We are called to this mission. We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves.

 

The translation of the word Christian is "Christ follower." Now, I’m a Christian woman. I trust in Jesus and love Him with all my heart and soul. He has forgiven me of much...more than I long to admit. But, I wonder, how active is my faith on any given day? 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. This perfect love thing is totally hard! It 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've been very compelled by these demonstrated ACTIONS of Christ. I’ve been 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. So, a few weeks back, 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, suburban kids fought me the whole way to the curb and tested my love-o-meter to the max. Frankly, I wanted to fold up my card table, put away the signs that I had painstakingly made with 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. In my frustration, I felt God speak to my heart. I was lovingly reminded, that in order reach people for Jesus I need 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.

 

THE LESSONS: (some old, some new...but none borrowed or blue) ;) ~

 

  1. Our time is a treasure...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. If we have a roof over our heads, food in the pantry and a car to drive...we are exceedingly rich.
  4. Our children learn giving and serving when we lead and model it. (Duh!?)
  5. $172 can be raised in a few short hours to help local homeless children by selling water and soda!! YEAH! ;)
  6. Comfortable Christian children need to experience life beyond themselves more often!
  7. 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 be GiGs who are active for Christ!

 

 

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 the Name of Jesus, 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! For example:

 

Call the local retirement community to seek how you can help.

Check with a homeless shelter and inquire about their needs.

Volunteer for your local Food Pantry.

Baby-sit for a single mom at your church.

Consider adoption!

 

 

More from the Girls

I hope you are inspired to go and be active for Christ, too. How can we serve Christ in practical ways? Got any ideas? I'd love to hear them. Email me! If I get a bunch of great ideas, I will list them in my next blog on http://www.myspace.com/gwensmithmusic. I really love doing life with my GiGs! Thanks for welcoming us into your life each day through these devotions.

 

Worship along with Gwen as you serve! Check out her latest CD – Through All Generations.

 

 

 

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