Day 13: We’re Commissioned To Reach Out Together – By Giving Practical Help

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Point to Ponder: People know we love them when we show we love them
Verse to Remember: “Little children, let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.” — I John 3:18b (LB)
Question to Consider: Who can you share the love of Christ with in a practical way today
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[Read More] thoughts on Day 13 of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Community.

Today’s devotional drives home the point that love is best measured by action. In particular, it made me think about how relentlessness is an essential part of true love. When I’m doing something out of duty, it is easy to feel I’ve fulfilled my obligation if I’ve gone through the motions of service. When I love something, though, I won’t rest until I’ve achieved the goal of honoring my beloved — based on the results and their response, not merely perfunctory observance.

I was also convicted by Rick’s portrayal of Jesus calling us to also be “ever ready to set aside our agenda in order to help someone in need.” To be sure, Jesus did sometimes withdraw from the crowds to be with his Father. Yet, at the same time, in his public ministry he’d frequently allow (even reward) interruptions in order to deal with real people.

I must confess that my withdrawals are usually to be by myself, rather than with God. Plus, even though my agenda is at one level driven by a desire to bless others and serve God, too often I use that as an excuse to avoid getting out and loving the people around me.

Sigh.


Prayer: God, I need help. I need your body to encourage me and hold me accountable to actively living out the love I say I have for the people around me. I need your Spirit to birth a new love, and commitment, to my neighbors and others within my circle of influence. Break me out of my complacency and high-level agendas, that I might respond to the opportunities you have already created. Open my eyes, and my calendar, that I may spend my time on the things you want, even if they seem sub-optimal to me. Have mercy, on me, a fool. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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