Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Mid-Week Message - Share Love

There are a number of thoughts going around in my head right now.  One is of Valentines Day.  I have fond memories of Valentines parties in elementary school.  Each year we had the assignment of creating a "mailbox" for the cards that would be handed out by the students during the party.  It was fun trying to come up with ideas that would be different from what everyone else did.  Sometimes I did well, sometimes I didn't.  Either way I carried home a box full of silly little cards that I cherished.

Another thought swirling in my mind at this late hour is of homeless people who may be cold on the street tonight.  Have they eaten?  Do they have warm blankets?  Where will they rest their heads until the morning?  I wonder if they have families who have homes, and if so, why are they not with them. When is the last time they had a hug from someone for no reason except to express God's love?

As a Bible college student I took a Missions class.  The main thing I remember from the class is that if you are going to reach out to someone to teach them of Jesus, the first thing you must do is meet their physical needs.  Telling them that Jesus loves them but failing to make sure they have food to eat, clothing to wear and shelter to feel safe in, is pointless.  Why?  Because Jesus' love is all encompassing.  A hungry person isn't likely to hear of spiritual things over the growling of an empty belly.  The Lord would see that the physical needs are met.  It is one thing to tell of love, but quite another to exemplify it.

The day after Christmas, Valentines items began showing up in stores and catalogs and in commercials on television.  Candy, flowers, cards, stuffed animals, diamonds, and even new cars are advertised as ways to show love on that one day a year that has been set aside for that purpose.  Frankly, I find this a bit offensive.  It isn't that I don't enjoy receiving those tokens, because I do.  I look forward to them.  What offends me is that we have a day on the calendar designated as the day to show our love for others.  Isn't that what we need to be doing every day?

If we truly spent our time sharing Christ's love with others, this would be an entirely different world. Rather than being reluctant to share for fear of rejection, we should run to people to exclaim how important they are to Him, and they should be just as important to us.  If there is a need, we should seek to fill it in whatever way we are able.  In giving of ourselves and our own resources, we share the touch of Heaven.  All we have comes from God above anyway.  And maybe, just maybe, He gave it knowing that we would need to pass it on to someone else.

Challenge for the week:  Share love with someone you normally wouldn't share it with.  See a stranger as a child with an empty Valentines mailbox and fill it with something they can cherish for awhile.  A smile.  A hug.  A word of encouragement. It might not be easy, but I promise you'll be glad you did.

Matthew 25:35-40New International Version (NIV)

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

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