Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Love for Them

God’s love for me is the transforming factor that allows me to love others . As I understand God’s love for me, I can begin to love others. Actually I am commanded to love others. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  1 John 3:16. I am to follow His example and lay down my life for others.

There’s a song in from “Veggie Tales: A Story of St. Nicholas” that says, “I can love because God loves me; I can give because God gave. Jesus’ love is why I’m smiling, why I’m giving every day.” It’s not my feelings or my niceness that allows me to love others. It’s being filled with God’s love for me. What I’m filled with is what others will feel when they are around me.

My family deserves this love. The ones I love most should feel the most love from me. How often we are guilty of treating everyone nicer than our family. May this not be true in my life! If my goal is to show love to my family my attitude will also be different as I act out that love. “My life for theirs”  is a phrase I use to remind myself of the goal.
My sleep to feed my baby.
My schedule for my husband’s.
My activities for training toddlers.
My time for their benefit.

But not just my family. Just as God loved those who were separated from Him- those who were living lives that despised all He valued- I am to love those who don't love me. I am to love those who are repulsive. I am to love those who are unlovable. The lost will see God’s love for them through our actions. Not our words. 1 John 3:17-18 says, “But whoso hath his world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 

What needs do you see around you that you can fill? Several months ago my husband and I were teaching Junior Church. The majority of our kids ride our bus and have questionable home lives. As my husband was teaching I looked around the room and saw an empty plate with crumbs on it. My eyes flew to the children and I wondered how many of them had breakfast that morning. I realized that I could fix them breakfast on Sundays.  So now, with my husband and pastor’s approval, I fix them muffins to eat before Opening Assembly. I can’t provide all of them with a happy home, or a mama and daddy that love each other, or a warm family dinner every day. But I can give them breakfast on Sundays with the “world’s good” that God has blessed us with. My hope is that they see God’s love for them through muffins.

Many people struggle at Christmas. Many people struggle every day. This Christmas season when we celebrate God’s love for us would be the perfect time to refocus on showing love for others. Who can you love today?

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