June 12, 2013
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another (John 13:34-35, NIV).
Friend to Friend
When bad things happen, we cry out in desperation for someone to care. More people come to Christ during a crisis than at any other time. Kindness is simply compassion at work and love in action.
We need to constantly refocus our success-targeted eyes, crucify each self-promoting heart motive, and look for the needs around us. I often wonder just how amazed we will be when we get to Heaven and find the unlikely and unknown but devoted servants of God rewarded for their quiet and often unseen acts of kindness.
A preacher once described his mother as a woman of great compassion. One day he came home from school to find her sitting at the table with an elderly, homeless man. Apparently, she had gone shopping, met the man on the way, and invited him home for a warm meal. During their conversation, the visitor said, “I wish there were more people in the world like you.” The woman said quickly, “Oh there are! You just have to look for them!” The old man simply shook his head and smiled, “But lady, I didn’t need to look for you. You looked for me!”
Needs constantly parade before us day every day, but we don’t see them. We are too busy to notice the broken lambs the Good Shepherd sends our way. We view them as intrusions or annoying interruptions in our very important schedule. These uninvited and unscheduled guests may very well be divine appointments sent by God.
The warning of Hebrews 13:2 is a haunting one. “Remember to welcome strangers, because some who have done this have welcomed angels without knowing it.” How many angels have we missed because we were too busy? Or maybe the problem is simply that we don’t care enough.
A mother sent her young daughter on an errand. The little girl was gone far too long, so when she returned, her mother demanded an explanation. The child said that on her way to the store, she met a friend who was crying because she had broken her doll. “Oh,” said the mother, “then you stopped to help her fix her doll?” “Oh, no!” replied the little girl. “I stopped to help her cry!”
Jesus says that if we really love God, we will really love each other. We are never more like our Father than when we choose to weather relationship storms with kindness and love. Kindness and compassion are directly related to the health of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
1 John 4:20 “If people say, ‘I love God,’ but hate their brothers or sisters, they are liars. Those who do not love their brothers and sisters, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have never seen.”
We can be very religious and not care enough. Kindness does not look for reasons. Compassion doesn’t ask for limitations. It searches for opportunity.
Father, I come to You today, asking You to break my heart for what breaks Yours. Give me the eyes to see those around me who are in pain. Show me how to encourage them and love them with Your love. Fill my heart with Your compassion, and give me the strength and courage to share that compassion with others.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Galatians 5:14 says, “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
How do you share the love you have for yourself with others?
How do you practically love your neighbor as yourself?
How have others shown the love of God to you?
More from the Girlfriends
Learn practical steps that will help you learn how to be and find true friendship in Mary’s message, I Need a Friend. And be sure to check out Mary’s NEW weekly Online Bible Study, From a Mess to a Miracle, beginning July 8. Enroll now and have access to all 2013 lessons.
Click here to find out more about
how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.