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Thursday: Greater Love — 7 Comments

  1. Everybody hurts sometimes.. this was one of my favorite REM songs back in the 1990's. It is true we all hurt at some times and we all need the love and support of each other.

    In my marriage I am still learning that I am not needed to fix everything or that I need to deal directly with the problems. Sometimes I just need to listen and love.

    In my church family I am learning that sometimes it is not making sure that the theology (while there is a place for this) is perfect, but sometimes it is to listen and reveal the love of Jesus. I am having to purposefully listen to people and not just to their theology. Sad to say this is a skill that I am only now learning. When my focus is wrong it can be hard for me to recognize the needs of the person so I can minister to them and not just engage in a theological debate. Isaiah 58:4 has been a rebuke to me and I do not want strife and debate but to humbly lift up Jesus and meet the needs of my friends and neighbors.

    In regards to refugees... I do not want to minimize the refugees around the world living in dire conditions but we must remember to some extent we are all refugees. This world is not our home and if we live for this world we are "wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked" (Rev 3:16). Jesus calls us "If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me." May we all find refuge for ourselves and to share with our neighbors in Him.
    the longer it goes on the less we have in it. We all long to go home, to be in the Kingdom of Heaven and

  2. A man was passing along a road, and he saw a snake that was badly injured and almost dying. He felt pity for the snake and decided to take it home so he can treat it. He treated it for many days and one day, the man went out for business and when he returned home, he saw the snake has fully recovered and is even playing around. Out of excitement and curiousity he decided lift the snake. But while he stretched out his hands, the snake gave him a serious bite... He felt bad and was disappointed so he asked the snake "why I have been taking good care of you in my house just for you to stay alive, why harm me?"

    But the snake answered "didn't you know that I was a snake before you took me to your home?"

    So whats my point? The world has gone terribly bad...
    The practice of Jesus's kind of love should make us be on a very good and close relationship with him so that he alone can direct our paths to the kind of people that truly need this love.

  3. Many of us who have read Charles Dicken's book, "The Tale of Two Cities", are deeply moved by its conclusion. Sydney Carton, who had lived a rather dissolute life, takes the place of his friend at the Guillotine and before his execution makes this statement:

    It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.

    It is a beautiful sentence with its juxtaposition of tragedy and redemption, of sacrifice and salvation, and its comparison of the frivolous with the issues of real value.

    For those of us who are Christian, it is also a reminder that Christ laid down his life, even for his enemies.

    Paul says:

    We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Rom 5:7,8 MSG

  4. Let us express gratitude to the One and Only Who loves us all UNCONDITIONALLY! May this love continue to change the world, starting with me! Today's task concerns developing social skills, finding a stranger, getting acquainted, and creating a new connection! The Lesson is all about this: developing people to care for people! While God cares for you and me!

  5. The grocery store, the post office, the parking lot are all places one can encounter ‘strangers’. Joining a ‘soup kitchen crew’ is not necessarily a place to meet people directly unless one sits down next to them and starts a conversation. Treating the stranger with kindness is to me the first step toward building good will between one-another.

    A friendly attitude, a helpful gesture, a smile and a generous, welcoming personality will always lighten the atmosphere regardless of the setting. Waiting in a line provides great opportunities to strike up a conversation. Children in shopping carts are easy to engage with by sharing a smile and a wave, and parents might be engaged by a kind remark.

    I find it so much more important to be consistently aware of the 'needs' of others, not standing by until a person hits rock bottom. Our daughter who lives in our family home works for a secular organization who's goal is to end homelessness which also includes finding adequate housing.

    Her position allows her to navigate, coordinate, and facilitate practical help benefitting many in need, not just the homeless, but also those at the brink of homelessness. In our conversations we noted how little attention is being payed to offer help to prevent a disaster or to come alongside the person who's life was stabelized but needs help with developing skills to prevent a relapse.

    This is an area where I believe churches could do much good – getting involved before disaster strikes or to help with stabilization. Helping the destitute is unquestionable of high priority, providing a safety net is crucial, but helping to prevent someone from loosing control over their life expresses the attentiveness of a consistently caring heart. Sharing unbiased, unsolicited ‘care’ helps open the heart that struggles to find the right approach to living a stable life.

    Jesus invites all who labor and are heavy laden to come to Him to find rest. He lives in us and we have our life in Him. Let us invite as many as will hear him to come to Him – Matt.11:28-30.

  6. Today I saw a student going to school today n he was telling his friend that he didn't eat breakfast n he left his lunch money I felt so sad so I offered him a lunch money n he reject but after I took him aside I spoke to him he accepted n said how am I going to see u again to repay u n I said jesus will repay me.i felt so good doing so.god is love that y we must spread his love.

  7. Though the lesson says "All through His ministry Jesus helped those who could not help themselves", I actually discovered that's not totally true. While studying Mark, I realized that Jesus healing ministry was mainly prior to the transfiguration. After that, it doesn't appear that He sought out people to heal, though He definitely did heal those who He had encounters with. His focus shifted to preparing for His death and preparing His disciples for that. Of course that was the greatest "help for those who could not help themselves".

    I mention this because as much as it's important to do ministry for people who need help, we need to maintain our focus on what God calls us too right now. There are seasons where ministry to those outside of our circle is what God calls us to focus on. There may be seasons where we need to focus on something else (for example something within the church). If we are in tune with Him, He'll show us. Otherwise, we will scurry this way and that, trying to save everyone and feeling overwhelmed. We cannot do everything or help everyone and it's important to remember that. But God will empower us for what His plan is.


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