When I was in grade school, a family moved into our community. I didn’t know much about the family, but I knew they were poor. They had several children, and one of them was in our class. They didn’t dress like the rest of us and they smelled worse than most of us (depending on the Texas sunshine and how long recess was!). Do we love folks like that?
We never know the far reaching consequences of Godly obedience and that includes loving those around us. I teach mission teams we are to love others until they ask, “Why?” Then, we get to share that we love them because Jesus loves them. The family I mentioned was loved exactly that way.
The women of our church demonstrated obedience in loving others and it still touches me today. They got together, sewed new clothes (and bought some, too), and began a ministry to this family. As I remember, it started on Easter weekend. The family had a set of twin girls that were a class or two below us in school. Much to my surprise, those girls were at my house on Sunday morning. Hmmm, that’s different. Mom had breakfast for all of us and they ate with us. Then, Mom had them in the bathroom where I usually got ready and she was giving them a bath. You know you’re dirty when Mom has to do the scrubbing! After the bath, Mom took them to her room to put brand new dresses on them. Let me see, I’m ready for church, they are getting new clothes, idea–“They must be going to church.” Second thought–“Them? With us?” Yes! That is exactly what happened. It also happened in several other homes that morning.
You see, I can’t remember one lesson I heard at that age on loving others. However, I will never forget this lesson that I saw in my own home. Is it beginning to come together? No inspirational speaker, no matter how gifted, could have inspired or motivated me like this demonstration of Godly obedience.
That family is you and me. We are not like Jesus. He has plenty and we are destitute. If He doesn’t give to us, we have nothing. What He is, He bestows freely on all who will believe and receive His forgiveness. Yes, we are dirty and He has to do the scrubbing. We can’t do it ourselves. We understand this. We even do fairly well when it comes to those around us who are in need. But there’s another setting in which to obediently practice love.
This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us, I John 3:23. The letter was written to CHRISTIANS. Love one another. Many in the church find it easier to love the needy who are outside the church than those inside the church. It has obviously been an issue since John”s day since he addressed it in his epistle. Just like taking care of that family from my childhood, love means looking out for the welfare or good of another. It is not just a warm fuzzy feeling. Love is action on behalf of others. The Golden Rule is “DO unto others…” Be active! That person in the church who thinks differently than I do; love him. That woman and her bad habits; love her. Those young people who dress like they don’t know they are coming to church; love them. There’s more but the point is made. This is His commandment. That’s different than a suggestion! We must look around in the family of faith and demonstrate love (take action) for everyone there. Since it’s commanded, remember this: To him that knows to do and doesn’t do it…
Your actions just might be the best inspirational speaker someone ever saw! Think about it…