Loving Others in His Name
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another (1 John 4:11, NIV).
Friend to Friend
I could not tear my eyes away from the television screen as the 33 miners began to emerge from the depths of what could have been their mass grave. The men had been trapped for more than two months in the collapsed Chilean copper mines nearly half a mile underground. Everything I have read or heard about the tragedy is extraordinary.
The miners survived the early days by rationing food and working together as a team. Each man was assigned a job, one of which was to maintain peace and harmony until they were rescued. The selfless mining supervisor who insisted on being the last to leave his underground prison showed the world what it really means to put others first. I was amazed at the selflessness of the rescue worker who became the initial guinea pig for the rescue capsule, and then chose to stay behind – alone - while the world celebrated above.
Do you remember how the world came together to save this group of strangers? Did the powerful lessons of their rescue make any difference in the way we treat each other?
We all know what it is like to be trapped in a pit of some kind. It is probably not a collapsed mine, but pits are all basically the same.
Our world has collapsed under the weight of fear and pain.
No one seems to care. In fact, a lot of people have written us off as a lost cause.
People are too busy to recognize or understand our hopelessness.
Darkness prevails and rescue seems impossible.
We are wounded, sick, and tired.
Civil war rages in our souls as we struggle to obey God instead of giving in to sin.
I truly believe that every day is filled with divine appointments – opportunities to rescue people who are trapped in some kind of pit. We miss the emptiness reflected in the eyes of the sales clerk, or we simply choose to ignore the homeless man begging for money so he can buy food.
After all, we are in a hurry. We have more important things to do.
The sales clerk would probably be embarrassed if I said anything.
That homeless man would probably just use the money I give him for drugs or alcohol.
The ringing phone is someone in need, but we don’t care enough to answer.
Our neighbor does not know God but her life is a mess, and we really don’t want to get involved.
Instead of taking action and doing what we know God wants us to do, we decide it is enough to pray for that neighbor and leave the messy part of God’s work to someone else.
I am so guilty of walking away from someone in need instead of running to his or her rescue. After all, I am in pain, and my pain is more important than theirs. I may not actually say those words, but I don’t have to. My actions are blatant illustrations of my own egotism and self-absorption.
I do not want to be like the priest who nonchalantly strolled by the wounded and bleeding man lying on the road. I want to be like the Good Samaritan who stopped and saved the wounded man’s life. I want to be “God with skin on” to those in need.
One day, just as rescue workers descended into that Chilean mine, Jesus Christ will descend into this broken world and rescue us from the pit of human frailty. Until then, let’s be His hands and feet. Let’s love Him and love others in His name.
Father, I come to You today with a heart of praise for the way You meet every need in my life and how You constantly rescue me from the darkness. I want Your heart, Lord. I want to be Your hands and feet to the people You place in my path. Give me eyes to see their need and the courage to do something about it. Please guard my heart against pride and selfishness. I want to please and honor You alone.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
It is sometimes hard to love someone in need, but God calls us to look beyond his or her rough exterior and see the pain hidden there.
Read Ephesians 4:2. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Notice the action words. What would your daily life look like if you took action and lived out this verse?
Is there someone in your life who is hurting? How can you ease their pain?
Is there someone in your life who is wounded? How can you help them heal?
Is there someone in your life who has fallen into some kind of pit? How can you help rescue them?
Make a specific plan to meet a specific need in someone’s life today. Then do something about it!
More from the Girlfriends
We live in a broken world. It is easy to get so wrapped up in our own problems that we fail to see the needs of others. Today, I am issuing a challenge to all of us, girlfriends! Look around. Find someone in need and take action. We are never more like our Father than when we love and serve someone in His name.
I would love to hear your story! How did God use you to meet a need in the life of someone? How did someone meet your need?
Need help learning how to study the Bible? Join women across the world in Mary’s weekly online Bible study, Light for the Journey, and learn how to learn and apply God’s truths to your daily life. No More Lies: Learning to See Yourself Through the Eyes of God begins January 18. Don’t miss this powerful study that will help you learn to defeat your doubts and feed your faith.
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